No doubt with an eye towards how viewing habits are changing, Sony has announced that it’s bringing some choice to cable-cutters with the forthcoming PlayStation Vue service. It’s a combination of live TV channels, including local broadcast networks. On-demand content will be part of the service, with the previous three days of “popular programming” available at all times, plus the ability for viewers to save episodes of their favorite shows to the cloud and retain access for up to 28 days.
This subscription-based cloud TV service will launch into a closed beta this month for select PlayStation console owners, before arriving in 2015 and spreading compatibility to other devices, including Sony-compatible televisions and iPads.
“PlayStation Vue reinvents the traditional viewing experience so your programming effortlessly finds you, enabling you to watch much more of what you want and search a lot less,” said Andrew House, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, in a press release. “PlayStation Vue brings the best of live TV and a robust catalog of the latest content, always keeping you connected to what’s popular, new and trending. Today’s announcement builds on the historic success of PlayStation 4 and demonstrates what our company is capable of when we embrace disruption and stay true to gamers.”
The service will launch with approximately “around 75 channels per market,” including local broadcast networks, along with popular cable channels from such partners as Viacom, NBC Universal and Fox. On-demand will play a part along with live television, providing plenty of bang for subscriber’s bucks. PlayStation Vue will launch in an invite-only beta later this month on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, first in New York and then in Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
Sony didn’t mention a monthly rate for the service just yet, but it’s expected to be announced over the next few weeks – maybe even at the company’s PlayStation Experience event, which kicks off in Las Vegas on December 6. The company has promised it will be set at a “fair and competitive price.”
A variety of partners are already on board with the project, including the above-mentioned companies, along with Discovery Communications, Scripps Networks Interactive and CBS. There are some noticeable omissions, such as Disney, Turner and HBO, but Sony insists it’s in “active discussions” with new partners.
Sony still has an uphill battle ahead of it with its service, considering the tough competition from more popular opponents, as well as its own troubles with the PlayStation Now game streaming service. However, if it plays all its cards right, there’s no reason why PlayStation Vue can’t be a hit.