As cord-cutting becomes more and more of a trend, many television viewers are looking for ways to circumvent the traditional mode of watching cable-television – that of course being the way of service providers such as Comcast, Time Warner and DirecTV. Now, thanks to Sony, it seems a new option is about to be placed on the table.
In an announcement made today, Sony unveiled a name and details for the planned Playstation cable service they first made mention of at CES 2014. Called Playstation Vue, the new service’s goal will be to replace existing cable subscription entirely, working to make the gaming console an audience member’s one-stop shop for all their entertainment.
At the moment, the service is planned to launch with 70 networks including (but not limited to) Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, CBS, Discovery, Fox and NBC. However, other high profile hubs including ABC, ESPN and AMC have yet to strike deals with Sony. In addition, the service will also launch with on demand options, as well as the ability to watch programming three days after its airs regardless of whether or not a time was set to record by the user. That said, Sony did not announce pricing for the new service, but did reveal it hopes to expand beyond Playstation systems in the future to devices such as the iPad.
For the moment, Sony reveled a beta version of Vue will be rolled out to the New York area later this year, with a commercial launch being planned for the first quarter of 2015. Since Sony’s goal is to compete with existing cable providers, it won’t be offering pricing much cheaper than existing plans, but it will be offering more user friendly ways to access said content.
Said Andrew House, chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment:
This is an opportunity, in my view, to fulfill a longer goal of transforming what was in the past a dedicated game device into a proper entertainment hub… There is nothing in entertainment as broad as the mass-market live-TV space.
What many insiders will find most fascinating about Vue is the limitless potential for viewer expansion. Typically, cable providers hold agreed upon monopolies over certain geographical areas, hence why one town may only have coverage by Comcast while another is only serviced by AT&T or Time Warner. Since Sony’s new service would be provided through the console itself, the idea of geographical hubs goes out the window as the only requirement would be a working broadband internet connection.
While it would be nice to see the company compete with existing providers through cheaper plans, the potential to access content anywhere in the nation is an intriguing proposition.