Hulu Plus may cost a bit extra — the price of a Playstation Plus subscription, actually — when the service comes to Playstation 3 in July, according to some language hidden in one of Hulu’s Web pages.
I stumbled upon the evidence when double checking that neither Sony nor Hulu had acknowledged the other’s subscription service. Hulu did announce upcoming support for Playstation 3, but a lack of details made me wonder why Playstation Plus, which launched today, wasn’t mentioned at all; some sort of deal for PS Plus subscribers seems like a no brainer. (If you’re not caught up on either of these services, by the way, see Harry’s post on Hulu Plus or Sony’s rundown of Playstation Plus).
Just to be sure I didn’t miss anything, I did a quick Google search, and found this (see the second result):
The text of the second result comes from the page source of Hulu Plus’ device page, and appears in Google’s search results even though it doesn’t show up on the website itself. “The instructions below will help you install Hulu Plus on your PS3,” the hidden language says. “Note: you must be a subscriber of the Playstation Plus Network.”
The next few lines describe a “Playstation 3 Activation Procedure,” in which you go to the Playstation Store and redeem a download code that lets you install a Hulu Plus application. View my screen grab of the page source if you like.
So it looks like Hulu Plus won’t be available to PS3 owners without a Playstation Plus subscription, which costs $50 per year or $18 per month for three months. That seems like a raw deal, considering that Netflix doesn’t cost anything extra on the Playstation 3 (it does require an Xbox Live Gold subscription on Xbox 360, and Microsoft has already confirmed that the same rule will apply to Hulu Plus when it arrives on Xbox 360 early next year). Still, it’s not clear whether PS Plus subscribers will get a deal on Hulu content, or if it costs the same $10 per month as everyone else.
I’ve pinged Sony and Hulu for clarification and will post an update if I hear anything.
Update: Apparently, the text is not hidden to people who already have a Hulu Plus preview invite, as one Kotaku reader reported after reading about our coverage. If that’s the case, I’m not sure why Hulu or Sony PR haven’t said anything.
Update 2: “We don’t comment on rumors and speculation which is all that is at this point,” Sony told G4 (but not us).