On Thursday, Sony announced its own internally developed online streaming video service called PlayStation Vue, which will launch in a limited beta this month. The announcement outlined many of the subscription service’s early details, including a focus on network television, approximately 75 participating stations and, perhaps most notably, the ability to stream live television. That’s in stark contrast to similar paid services like Hulu, which force users to wait up to an entire day before their favorite series can be streamed online.
According to Sony’s press release on the matter, participating stations currently include much of the Viacom family (CBS, MTV, Comedy Central), along with Fox and NBC and some of their affiliates. Currently, the biggest robber is the ESPN-Disney family, which also carries ABC; that combination of network hits, sports content and family viewing will be a major hurdle for anyone who sees PlayStation Vue as a cable-free, cable-cutting path to live TV.
Shocking no one, Sony announced that the service would debut on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 consoles. Those versions will roll out in a limited New York-only beta (on PlayStation Plus only) by the end of this month, with a wider launch expected in the first quarter of 2015. The company also announced that it is “working on an iOS app, but no time frame has been given for when that, or other compatible device apps (particularly the PlayStation Vita), might arrive.
Sony was eager to show off interface images that match the company’s PlayStation Store designs for both compatible consoles. The company also revealed that its service will serve and retain content based on “favorites” chosen by users. Importantly, thanks to cloud storage, users do not have to worry about hard drive limits for such stored video content. However, Sony was less enthusiastic about putting a price on the service, telling outlets that the price will be “competitive”.
Oddly enough, Sony didn’t take the opportunity to advertise the upcoming PlayStation-branded TV content, specifically a superhero-themed series called Powers which was announced at this year’s E3.