PlayStation Vue, Sony’s bid to bring live TV to its PlayStation consoles as well as mobile devices and set-tops, may have lured as many as 120,000 subscribers since launching in March 2015. That’s according to sources speaking to Bloomberg, and comes on the heels of Sony rolling out Vue support for Roku’s popular line of multichannel streaming boxes.
Full disclosure: I just signed up for the service myself. Aside from some quibbles about the Roku version’s interface—so many channel carousels I don’t need!—it’s been a cord-cutting grail, insofar as live, cable-bypass streaming TV plans (sans local affiliate stations) count as such.
When Vue launched, it was only available in a handful of major cities, limiting its appeal. But Sony gradually added more regions, including the smallish, corn-encircled hamlet I base from in flyover country (Northeastern Iowa). That still wasn’t enough to get me to buy and place pricey PlayStation consoles on all my TVs. But then Sony added Roku support last week, and I already have those on my up and downstairs screens, at which point spending $39.99 (a month) for the baseline 55 or so channels became a fait accompli.
Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness
You’re headed for the stars some 6,000 light years from Earth by way of another motley cast of heroes with outlandish hairdos and gloriously gaudy duds. The fifth in studio tri-Ace’s Star Ocean roleplaying series hopes to reinvigorate its classic realtime combat with up to 7-player battles and a story about first contact with an alien species.
PlayStation 3 & 4
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Longtime LEGO custodians TT Games applies its lightly irreverent block-building formula to the newest Star Wars film, adding a few new wrinkles like Multi-Builds (choose from multiple possible build piles as part of a new puzzling element) and Blaster Battles (cover-based, over-the-shoulder shootouts).
PC, PlayStation 3 & 4, Xbox 360 and One, Wii U, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS
Developer Playdead’s sophomore effort after 2010’s acclaimed minimalist Limbo, Inside lets you explore a similarly shadowed and unfriendly-looking world as an intrepid, nimble child.
PC (July 7), Xbox One
Nintendo’s quirky 2015 puzzle-platformer starring a blocky character named Qbby gets a sequel, wherein players must spawn tiny boxes to solve conundrums like interrupting the ray from a lethal weapons, or enabling passage across treacherous drops.
Song of the Deep
Developed by a small team within largish studio Insomniac Games (Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet & Clank, Sunset Overdrive), Song of the Deep is a side-scrolling, exploration-driven adventure starring a young girl who cobbles together a submarine in an attempt to find her vanished father.
PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Monster Hunter Generations
Capcom’s newest Monster Hunter (in which players do just what the title says) was originally known as Monster Hunter X (as in “cross”) in Japan. The “X” reportedly inspired producer Shintaro Kojima to approach the game design by fours, thus Generations offers four hunting styles, four villages to base from, and four primary monsters to defeat.
I Am Setsuna
Studio Tokyo RPG Factory’s roleplaying riff on tales of human sacrifice explores the lives and choices of a small group of individuals (including a girl selected as oblation to demonic creatures) through the lens of gameplay concepts pioneered in 1990s console games like Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger.
PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Not a formal sequel to Myst, but a spiritual followup from the latter’s creators, Obduction revisits familiar ground: Puzzle your way through mysterious, exquisitely rendered locales, trying to figure out what’s happened to you, and why.
Studio Giant Squid’s mysterious underwater exploration game, wherein you can engage sea creatures (including hitching rides on sharks), claims its title is a portmanteau of ancient words ab, meaning “ocean” and zu, meaning “to know.”
PC, PlayStation 4
No Man’s Sky
In our imaginations, open universe ambler No Man’s Sky really is as infinite as developer Hello Games boasts, giving you an endless, procedurally generated cosmos to plumb (and enough to do that you’ll never tire of doing it). Fingers crossed.
PC, PlayStation 4
Metroid Prime: Federation Force
Nintendo’s latest handheld Metroid game lets up to four players cooperatively gun down familiar series enemies across an array of planets, or play what amounts to robot soccer in a special multiplayer mode dubbed “Metroid Prime: Blast Ball.”
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
The sequel to Deus Ex: Human Revolution revisits cyber-protagonist Adam Jensen as he grapples with escalating cultural-political tensions prompted by the rise of augmented humans. It also ships with a new “Breach” mode, that distills the main game’s tactical concepts into VR-themed “sneak in, then sneak back out” hacking missions.
PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
World of Warcraft: Legion
World of Warcraft‘s shrinking subscriber base still commands millions, and the latest expansion, Legion, should provide another short term boost with its level cap jump from 100 to 110 and new melee-focused Demon Hunter hero class.
This action-adventure about a young woman who can salvage and transplant the “core” of an artificially intelligent companion unites Mega Man creator Keiju Inafune and Metroid Prime series director Mark Pacini.
PC, Xbox One
Destiny: Rise of Iron
Quasi-online shooter Destiny‘s fourth expansion further expands the game’s no-longer-skimpy story, adds new competitive maps and modes, provides a customary uptick in loot-hunt items and lifts the game’s light level cap significantly. The one downer: They’ve removed support for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Yes, 120,000 is still a pittance in traditional pay-TV terms. But Bloomberg reports Sling’s Dish Network has somewhere in the vicinity of 700,000 subscribers (after launching in February 2015–Vue’s rollout was much slower), which I think Bloomberg rightly reads as indication this bodes well for lower cost Internet TV package subscription services.
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Write to Matt Peckham at email@example.com