PlayStation owners and Sony fans alike were surely excited with the slew of announcements made at their recent E3 press event, but one in particular caught many by surprise, and I don’t mean the Final Fantasy VII remake.
Earlier this year, following the trend they started when they implemented Spotify for players to use for music, Sony premiered PlayStation Vue, a video and movie streaming service similar to Netflix and Hulu. At E3, viewers were introduced PlayStation Vue’s latest feature, a la carte TV. Check out the official ad, below.
If you aren’t familiar with it, “a la carte” is a term used to describe a specific distribution model of television where consumers pay for each channel individually, as opposed to the packaged channel bundles offered thus far by providers like Comcast and DirecTV. The idea is that you aren’t spending your hard-earned cash on channels you don’t watch. While each model has pros and cons, a la carte TV is something many consumers have been requesting of their cable or satellite service providers.
On stage to tell us was SCE CEO Andrew House at E3. He told the audience Vue would begin service very soon, and is already available for PlayStation owners living in San Francisco and Los Angeles. More locations will gain access to the service in the coming months.
This development has a larger impact than it may at first seem. As stated before, this is a business model consumers have been requesting in rather significant numbers, but it’s not a bandwagon that cable and satellite providers have been rushing to jump onto. To see this come from a company with a smaller stake in the TV industry than Netflix and Hulu is beyond a surprise.
If Sony’s improved Vue sees enough success, the rest of the TV service providers are sure to follow suit, or at least imitate certain features. A similar effect can be seen in the effect Google’s fiber-optic internet service has on every provider it competes with. Time Warner, Comcast, and AT&T have improved services previously provided and offered them at reduced cost when they gained competition in Google.
Over the next few months, Vue will be something to keep an eye on. If Sony does see success, it could change a lot about where their focus goes in future developments.