Written by Natalie Mootz | Last Updated February 24th, 2020Natalie has been writing for the web since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Or at least since dinosaurs achieved blogging technology. She's also written for About.com and Joystiq.
As if we weren't already in the middle of a heavyweight battle between Netflix, Amazon Instant, and even HBO over share-of-wallet in streaming television entertainment, now the behemoth that is Sony has entered the ring.
The Wall Street Journal reports that within two weeks Sony will roll out a beta test of their streaming entertainment service, dubbed PlayStation Vue, in New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia by invitation-only. Viewers will be able to watch streaming content via their PS3 or PS4 game consoles, with a business model along the lines of Sling TV.
Vue's channel offerings currently include CBS, NBC, Fox, Viacom, and Discovery (among others listed at GigaOm). Although Sony didn't indicate how much Vue will cost, it's likely that the subscription will compete favorably with Sling TV's starting price of $20/month.
Incredibly, Sony says Vue is a way for them to entice new customers -- people who aren't "hard-core" gamers -- to purchase Sony's game hardware. Ri-i-i-i-ight. Who's going to throw down nearly $400 for a console when they don't play games? And the games are along the lines of $60 each? And then on top of that, the monthly subscription fee? Nobody, that's who.
My question is this: Why didn't Sony just come out with a Roku or Amazon Fire stick/device that would be cheaper and more attractive to a non-gaming consumer? Do companies, no matter how big the name, really think they can waltz into a crowded market (and streaming TV is a viciously crowded space) and throw a knockout punch? Or even get noticed among the many other established contenders?
I cover this market every day and even I can't keep up with which service is streaming which channels these days. Or how much overlap crosses between services. It's a mess out there. Welcome to the brawl, Sony.