When the PS4 and the Xbox One were released, it was clear that the consoles weren’t just made for games; they were made for multimedia. The consoles have apps for Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube and they are expected to replace players’ standalone DVD and Blu-ray players. It’s for this reason that Sony decided to get into the digital TV space last year, as the company released the sci-fi series Powers and launched cloud-based TV service PlayStation Vue.
The benefits of PlayStation Vue in comparison to a traditional set-top box and DVR were that in addition to being able to watch live TV content, users could also save these shows to a cloud-based DVR that would never run out of room and would never stop them from recording a show because of scheduling conflicts. Plus, PlayStation Vue users would always be able to stay up to date on those ‘water cooler’ TV moments as the service allows them to watch the most popular shows from the past three days on demand.
While those are some serious advantages to becoming a PlayStation Vue subscriber, many people found reasons to criticize Sony‘s new service. For example, many were unhappy with the amount of channels on offer. Although channels like MTV, Fox, NBC, and CBS were all available from launch, Sony didn’t get Disney on board and given that Disney owns the both ABC and ESPN, it meant that users would be missing out on some of TV’ss biggest drama and live sport moments. Plus, the minimum subscription fee was $50 a month, which actually made PlayStation Vue’s pricing more expensive than some of its traditional cable rivals.
But during their E3 2015 press conference, Sony announced ways to fix this. The headline announcement about PlayStation Vue is that starting from July, users will be able to pick and choose which channels they want to watch. While the most popular channels will likely go at a higher rate, if users only want to keep up to date with a handful of shows or they can’t afford any other TV alternative, this at least gives them a chance to decrease their bills slightly. Additionally, Sony also revealed that PlayStation Plus subscribers will be offered some sort of discount with PlayStation Vue, though specific pricing details were not announced and the company says that more info will be available soon.
Tonight, Sony also rolled out PlayStation Vue to two new cities: Los Angeles and San Francisco. Another frustration with PlayStation Vue was that Sony had only released the service in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago. This made sense as Sony would want to test the service’s performance, but many were eager to use it and were therefore upset. As the company is still tweaking pricing methods, it seems likely that Sony will get those sorted out before releasing in more places, but watch this space.