Sony’s new, cable-like service for TV lovers is almost here.
The company plans to launch PlayStation Vue, an online pay-TV service that will stream live programming, within the next two weeks in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia, according to the Wall Street Journal. A national rollout is expected by the end of the year.
Vue is simultaneously a play to lure in “cord cutters,” people who have ditched their cable subscriptions in recent years, while also expanding the appeal of the PlayStation brand beyond video games. Sony has signed up several big-name media companies to offer their channels on the service, including NBCUniversal, 21st Century Fox and Comcast. Notably absent is Disney, which owns ABC, ESPN and several other popular cable networks.
Vue will be available on the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 3, as well as Apple’s iPad.
Pricing hasn’t been announced, but early impressions indicate that the Vue bundle of channels is extremely large and features many niche networks, just like cable. If that’s the case, Sony may end up trying to compete based on ease of use and Vue’s built-in DVR service rather than on price.
That would put it in contrast with Sling TV, the streaming TV offering from Dish Network that offers a fairly modest selection of channels for $20 per month and allows users to pay $5 extra for genre-specific bundles.