Sony Announces PlayStation Vue, a Cloud-Based TV Service Launching in 2015

November 13, 2014 Written by Jason Dunning

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Calling it a “pioneering new cloud-based TV service that reinvents the television experience,” Sony Computer Entertainment announced PlayStation Vue today, which gives you access to live TV and on-demand content without cable or satellite service.

SCE President Andrew House explained what PlayStation Vue is about:

PlayStation Vue reinvents the traditional viewing experience so your programming effortlessly finds you, enabling you to watch much more of what you want and search a lot less. PlayStation Vue brings the best of live TV and a robust catalog of the latest content, always keeping you connected to what’s popular, new and trending. Today’s announcement builds on the historic success of PlayStation 4 and demonstrates what our company is capable of when we embrace disruption and stay true to gamers.

Using the cloud to combine live, on-demand, and catch-up TV content, here’s how PlayStation Vue is “removing barriers” between viewers and content:

  • PlayStation Vue immediately connects viewers to the content they want to watch, helps them easily access their favorite shows and channels, and recommends movies and shows based on their viewing habits and what’s trending.
  • Discovering content is both simple and powerful with PlayStation Vue. The smart “Search” feature narrows down results quickly and intuitively, and the powerful “Explore” function allows viewers to filter the entire catalog of live and on-demand content by type of program, genre, ratings, popularity, length and more.
  • PlayStation Vue delivers catch-up and on-demand TV, freeing viewers to watch TV on their own schedules. The service makes the past three days of popular programming available without the need to schedule recordings.
  • Viewers can save their favorite shows to the cloud without storage restrictions or scheduling conflicts. Once viewers tag a favorite show, they will automatically have access to episodes of that show for 28 days so that they can watch on their own time.  
  • PlayStation Vue is simple to navigate and intuitive to use. By leveraging the power of the PlayStation platform and controller, viewers are always one click away from quick access to watching, finding, and discovering content.

This month, an invite-only beta preview (USA Today says only select PlayStation Plus subscribers will get invites) for PlayStation Vue will be available for select PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 owners in New York, followed later by Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. Vue will expand to iPad shortly after, then it will eventually come to more Sony and non-Sony devices.

Commercially, PlayStation Vue will launch in Q1 2015.

When it comes to that beta, Vue will offer about 75 channels per market, with this list detailing the current partners (more partners to be announced in the future):

  • CBS – At launch, PlayStation Vue will offer the live linear signal from CBS Television Network’s owned-and-operated TV stations in select leading markets in addition to on-demand prime-time programming.
  • Discovery Communications – Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Family Channel and 11 more brands.
  • Fox – Fox Networks Group’s portfolio of national entertainment programming services, including – FX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD. Additionally FOX Sports’ national and regional programming services – FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, BTN, Fox’s regional sports networks, including YES Network and Prime Ticket. The agreement also covers Fox’s owned and operated television stations. 
  • NBCUniversal – All local offerings from NBC, Telemundo and regional sports networks as well as Bravo, CNBC, E!, NBCSN, Oxygen, Sprout, Syfy, USA Network and more.
  • Scripps Networks Interactive – HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network and Cooking Channel.
  • Viacom – BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, PALLADIA, Spike, VH1 and more.

We won’t receive pricing and packaging information until PlayStation Vue’s commercial launch, but Sony was able to confirm the following:

  • What you see is what you pay – fair and competitive price that is transparent with no hidden fees or charges.
  • No contracts – maximum flexibility as PlayStation Vue will be offered on a month-to-month basis without any penalty or customer service hassles for cancellation.
  • No equipment or installation charges – with broadband internet service and a PlayStation 4 system or PlayStation 3 system, there’s no need to install or rent any additional equipment.

Once more details about PlayStation Vue are given (pricing, region availability, etc), we’ll let you know.

What do you think of PlayStation Vue?

[Source: USA Today]