Sony to release 'The Interview' online Wednesday on Google Play, Xbox for $5.99

A YouTube ad in the New York City subway.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Sony will release its controversial film "The Interview" online Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET, with $5.99 rentals available from Google's Play store and YouTube platform.

Microsoft's Xbox Video platform will also have the movie, as will a dedicated standalone website for the film.

Google's Chief Legal Officer David Drummond announced the decision in an official blog post on Wednesday, stating that "last Wednesday Sony began contacting a number of companies, including Google, to ask if we'd be able to make their movie, 'The Interview,' available online."

"After discussing all the issues, Sony and Google agreed that we could not sit on the sidelines and allow a handful of people to determine the limits of free speech in another country (however silly the content might be)," Drummond said in the blog post.

On Tuesday, Sony Pictures announced it will allow the movie to open in selected theaters on Christmas Day, despite threats and a devastating hacking that the United States blamed on North Korea.

The Google-distributed film stream will come almost a full day ahead of the theater release.

Netflix is also in talks with Sony Pictures to stream the film to its subscribers—a few days after the Christmas Day theater release, Variety reported. Netflix declined to comment in that report.

Read MoreWhere to watch 'The Interview' on Christmas Day

Sony announced on Tuesday that it would allow a limited release of the film in select U.S. movie theaters on Christmas Day. The decision came after major theater chains said last week that they would not show the film on that original release date.

—With reporting by CNBC's Julia Boorstin