SAN MATEO, CALIF. – After unveiling the Playstation Vue in November and offering an invite-only beta test for Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 users, Sony has launched its new OTT pay-TV service in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. The service is currently available for Playstation3 and Playstation4 users, with expansion to more devices, like iPads, expected to roll-out in the near future.
The Playstation Vue offers 85 channels of live and on-demand TV content. The service offers local broadcast feeds from CBS, Fox and NBC; ABC and ESPN are currently not being offered, but Sony is reportedly in talks to add them. Other networks offered include Discovery, Scripps and Viacom.
Sony will initially offer three no-contract service tiers for Playstation Vue; the entry-level “Access” tier at $49.99/month, the “Core” tier, which includes local sport channels, at $59.99/month, and the “Elite” tier, which carries 12 additional channels to the “Access” and “Core” packages, at $69.99/month.
Playstation VUE will also come with a VOD library that will allow users to re-watch previous episodes of TV shows as well as a cloud DVR with the ability to record up to 500 individual programs.
Sony joins an already crowded OTT device market that targets the growing number of "cord cutters" and includes Apple TV, Roku, Google Chrome and Amazon Fire. Despite the increasing number of such alternatives to traiditional pay-TV services, the number of cord cutters is still relatively small - the top 13 U.S. payTV providers lost only about 125,000 net video subscribers in 2014, according to Leichtman Research Group.
Sony plans to continue rolling out Playstation Vue to new markets throughout 2015, with Los Angeles being cited by the company back at the initial launch in November.