Sony has unveiled its plans for PlayStation Vue, an ambitious cloud-based TV service for PS4, PS3, and mobile devices.
PlayStation Vue will offer access to a number of established TV channels without the need for a lengthy contract or any form of additional hardware.
The idea is to replace the expensive, often clunky cable TV experiences we all enjoy/suffer at present. Besides cutting out the extended cost with rolling monthly charges and negating the need for another box under your TV, this will entail providing a slick UI and a powerful search function.
The service will also make the past three days of programming available to watch, so you won't have to miss stuff that you've forgotten to record. You can also save your favourite shows to the cloud without bumping up against storage limits or scheduling conflicts.
Once tagged, such favourites will remain available to watch for up to 28 days.
According to Sony's Andrew House, "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."
Of course, without access to some of traditional cable TV's biggest channels and thus some of the top-tier content, Sony will face a tough challenge to truly take the TV industry by storm. Current US TV partners include CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBC, Scripps, and Viacom.
PlayStation Vue will roll out with 75 channels as an invite-only beta for select PS4 and PS3 owners, followed shortly by iPad and then "more Sony and non-Sony devices." Some content will not be available on these mobile devices, according to Businessweek, due to limitations in the agreements Sony was able to reach.
It will be very much a US affair to start with, unfortunately, with the initial beta starting in New York and rolling out to Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. Sony is eyeing a commercial launch during the first quarter of 2015.
Pricing and details on wider availability is as yet unknown.
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