June 16, 2015
After this week’s launch in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Sony’s cloud-based TV service PlayStation Vue is now available in four of the five largest U.S. cities (Vue is also offered in Chicago, New York and Philadelphia). The service starts at $49.99 per month, and features more than 50 channels of live TV from three major networks and a collection of popular cable channels. Addressed during the company’s E3 press conference, Vue is part of a larger effort to make the company’s PlayStation console a multi-purpose entertainment hub.
Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House also announced during Monday’s press event that starting in July, PlayStation users will be offered the option of a la carte programming.
“Individual channels will be made available for subscription, allowing users to opt-out of pricey programming tiers,” according to Engadget. “The new subscription feature will launch with Showtime, Machinima and Fox Soccer Channel.”
Vue is competing with cable TV providers in addition to online-only offerings such as Dish’s Sling TV and Verizon’s Custom TV.
According to Bloomberg, “Sony sees an opportunity to exploit the more than 35 million Internet-connected PlayStations in the U.S. Their owners already use them to watch videos on Netflix or Hulu and listen to music.”
“That’s more touch points than even Comcast has in terms of set-top boxes,” said Dwayne Benefield, a Sony VP who leads Vue. “The one thing missing was live TV.”