The great streaming wars are getting ready to kick into high-gear next month when Disney+ and Apple TV+ launch, but a major casualty has already surfaced. Sony has announced the shut down of its PlayStation Vue streaming service. This was one of the more expensive services on the market, but it was also one of the options out there for cord-cutters who truly missed the live TV experience offered by traditional cable.
Sony made the announcement via a blog post. Subscribers will be able to use the service until the end of January 2020. At which time, it will be shut down for good. The company had anticipated a more rapid change in the traditional TV landscape and the number of people shifting from cable or satellite simply wasn't enough to keep PlayStation Vue going. Or, at the very least, not enough of those people were switching over to this service. Here's what Sony Interactive Entertainment Deputy President John Kodera had to say about it.
"Today we are announcing that we will shut down the PlayStation Vue service on January 30, 2020. Unfortunately, the highly competitive Pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals, has been slower to change than we expected. Because of this, we have decided to remain focused on our core gaming business."
Netflix is currently the king of the streaming game with 150 million subscribers worldwide, but PlayStation Vue was aiming for a different market. Not so much focused on original content, the service offered a host of TV channels without having to go through a cable or satellite provider. That, however, was costly, as the cheapest version of the service goes for $49.99 per month, with the "Ultra" plan running $84.99 per month.
For many cord-cutters, the idea is to save money. At those prices, there isn't too much money to save. Other companies such as Sing offer similar packages at cheaper rates. Not to mention Pluto TV, which offers a host of live TV channels for free. Add it all up and it was tough for Sony to continue to compete in the space. John Kodera continued, adding he was proud of what the service accomplished since its launch in 2014.
"We are very proud of what PlayStation Vue was able to accomplish. We had ambitious goals for how our service could change how people watch TV, showcasing PlayStation's ability to innovate in a brand-new category within the Pay TV industry. We want to thank all of our customers, some of whom have been with us since PlayStation Vue's launch in 2015. We appreciate your continued support as we move through this transitional period and look toward the future."
PlayStation Vue offered 80 channels and, before the announcement of the shutdown, had 800,000 subscribers. Originally, the service was offered on PlayStation gaming consoles, but later expanded to other streaming media devices such as Roku players, Apple TV devices and certain smart TVs. This news comes to us via the official PlayStation Blog.