While I love watching the Caps on TV, I enjoy watching other NHL games as well. In the past I’ve had NHL Center Ice, which provides basic functionality but not much else. I was never a huge fan of it because there was always a dearth of HD games, at least through Verizon FIOS. So when I heard that NHL GameCenter was available via the PS3, I was intrigued.
From the press release:
All PS3 users in North America and Canada can download the NHL GameCenter™ application for free. This means users that do not have a subscription to NHL GameCenter LIVE can still have access to a wide range of NHL® content through the NHL GameCenter application, including features such as post-game highlights, team schedules, standings, player stats and full NHL scoreboard.
NHL GameCenter LIVE™ subscribers can stream game broadcasts in HD by downloading the NHL GameCenter application from PlayStation Network on their PS3 system. In addition to offering live hockey games (subject to blackouts), NHL GameCenter LIVE also allows subscribers to watch full-length and condensed replays of the current season games they missed (48 hours after they air, no blackouts) and relive NHL history with unlimited access to over 800 classic games from NHL Vault™.
Additional features of NHL Vault™ include:
- Classic Games: Relive historic hockey moments from classic games dating back to the 1960s.
- Condensed Games: Catch up on games you missed with 10-12 minute extended highlights.
- Game Archive: Watch full length replays of all games since the 2008-2009 season.
I tried it out, and all I can say is, WOW! The features are almost overwhelming; you can pick the home or away feed for a game, fast-forward to the highlights, watch vintage games…there’s just so many options. You’ll never be bored again. It’s 3 a.m. on a Saturday? Watch the 2011 Winter Classic or a Habs game from the ’70s! Another feature I like is that many of the broadcasts are exactly what you’d see in that city. Frankly, I’m amazed at just how bad the commercials are in St. Louis.
The awesomeness of NHL GameCenter also includes the NHL GameCenter app, which I just downloaded. There’s a free version and a paid version, though the free version has a surprising amount of features. It’s an easy way to keep up with all the games that are going on.
As always, the Caps games are subject to blackout restrictions if you use the service in the DC area, but you can watch the game or the highlights the next day through the service. To download the application, go to the “Media & Apps” category in the Playstation Store from your PS3 and launch it from the TV/Video Services icon of the XMB. The free version is available, and the paid version costs $159 for the season and includes NHL Vault. Below are some screen shots of the PS3 application. If you’re looking for a fun, informative way to watch a game, this is it!
Disclaimer: I received a voucher code to test the application.