Sony is preparing a beta period for Vue, its cloud-based TV service, which will eventually move from PlayStation consoles to Apple iPads and beyond.
"TV" and "cloud" were two of the most common words used during Microsoft's 2013 E3 press conference. Now those words are coming from Sony, though the Japanese console maker is preparing to push TV into the next phase of its evolution.
"Everyday TV is about to become extraordinary with our new cloud-based TV service, PlayStation Vue," says Andrew House, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
Vue will deliver live and on-demand content via the cloud, with the latter service being bolster by "catch-up TV." Catch-up TV keeps live content alive for three days, delivering the programming via the cloud and eliminating the need to have to schedule recordings.
Vue will employ a recommendations system, which will include personalized picks as well as trending content. When a viewer marks a show as a favorite, the program's episodes will stick around for 28 days.
Vue has signed up six networks, which will offer over 70 channels. Vue's networks partners include CBS; Discovery (the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet); Fox (FX, FXX, National Geographic); NBC Universal (CNBC, NBCSN,Syfy, USA); Scripps (HGTV, Food Network, the Travel Channel); and Viacom (BET, CMT, Comedy Central).
While Sony is pushing the TV viewing experience forward, it's still holding on to some of the conventions of the past and it's likely doing to to bring big-name networks on board. Sony hasn't offer specifics on its programming packages, and won't do so until Vue officially launches, but all of the information revealed so far indicates it won't ask networks to forsake telecommunications companies by offering channels à la carte.
Sony promises Vue will offer a "fair and competitive price," without contracts. As Vue will run on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, owners of the console won't have to purchase any additional equipment to enjoy Vue.
"PlayStation Vue will begin an invite-only beta preview during November for select PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 owners, with a phased rollout starting in New York followed later by Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles," stated Sony.
Vue's official launch will be held at some point in 2015. Sony says the service will be offered on iPads shortly after Vue has completed its first phase of roll out and will be available on other "Sony and non-Sony" devices later.
With the struggles of the PlayStation Network worrying some gamers, maybe Sony and Microsoft can come to terms on usage of some of the Azure cloud servers. BlackBerry and Samsung recently came to terms on a server sharing deal, so it is possible to set a rivalry aside for mutual gain.