In the UK, the PS3 and Wii boast BBC iPlayer functionality, a very useful little enhancement that has proven to be a popular addition to the system's list of talents. The iPlayer gives users access to the previous week's worth of BBC television and radio shows, making it a valuable tool for British telly fans. The Xbox 360 cannot boast of such a tool, and unless it changes its Xbox Live policies, it never will.
The deal is this: Since the BBC already forces people to pay a TV license fee, it cannot ask people to pay for any of its services. Because Microsoft is greedy and stupid, it wants the iPlayer to only be available to Xbox Live Gold users. To the BBC, this is like asking people to pay for it. Hence, the iPlayer is currently boycotting the Xbox 360.
"Microsoft only wants to offer its users access to platforms it can charge for as this is the model it is pursuing," says a BBC source. "This does not fit with the BBC's model and Microsoft will not budge at the moment. It is really frustrating for those involved on the BBC side who want to make sure iPlayer is rolled out on as many popular entertainment platforms as possible."
This is just another example of how Microsoft tries to manufacture a sense of value in Xbox Live Gold by taking things away from Silver subscribers rather than giving things to Gold. Simply put, you cannot pay for access to a BBC product, ever. Microsoft's silly greed has just screwed all UK 360 users out of the service. Well done, Microsoft! Yet another slam dunk!