Sony has announced that the PlayStation 3 is set to get ITV and Channel 4's video catch-up services - the ITV Player and 4oD - in the UK this week.

It is a timely announcement, what with the busy Christmas TV schedules ahead over the coming weeks, with many no doubt glad to hear they will be able to catch up with Coronation Street and other favourites via their PS3.

And while hardcore gamers will no doubt mock Sony's video-on-demand strategy for PlayStation, it cannot be denied that the addition of ITV Player and 4oD VOD services makes the PS3 hardware more appealing to the casual gamer looking to purchase a new console.

Sony forecasts that the overall traffic to the aforementioned VOD services will improve by around 10 per cent as a result.

ITV and C4 join the PS3 iPlayer

The new PS3 TV catch-up services are expected to go live at some point this week, joining the BBC iPlayer service on PS3.

For ITV the distribution deal marks a shift in strategy, after the previous management regime under Michael Grade was reluctant to offer ITV shows online via other companies' products and services.

ITV's catch-up TV service was only previously available only on Virgin Media, BT Vision and soon to be made available on Freesat.

Robin Pembroke, managing director at ITV.com, said of the the PS3 deal that it was an "acceleration of our distribution strategy", with the strategy also looking at options for intenet-enabled TV sets, tablet computers and other gaming consoles for 2011.

"As awareness of ITV Player grows, so will consumption of ITV's content on demand," said the ITV.com boss.

Alan Duncan, UK marketing director for PlayStation in the UK, said the move was all part of "changing people's attitudes to the PS3 as a platform to view it as a much broader entertainment device.

"There is a compelling story to tell about the PS3 that goes far beyond gaming," Duncan added.

Via The Guardian