Playstation Vue, Sony’s bid for live Internet TV, continues to expand outside of the Playstation family, announcing today that the service will be available on Amazon’s Fire TV streaming devices.
The service first jumped from Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 consoles to the iPad in June, but today marks a major shift as users outside of the gaming world will be able to access the service on the big screen for the first time. Perhaps even more exciting for those looking to jump on board with Vue, the company also announced the service will soon add support for Google’s uber-affordable Chromecast, saying the move is “coming soon” to iOS devices.
Vue has also sweetened the deal for new users, offering a free Amazon Fire TV stick for users who sign up for the service’s mid-tier offering, the Core package, or the flagship Elite package until November 15. Vue is also making things slightly more appealing for cord-cutters, cutting the pricing of its $60/month Core and $70/month Elite channel packages to $55 and $65 respectively.
Today’s news follows a key acquisition for the service last week when Sony announced it will be adding a host of Disney-owned networks, including Disney Channel, ABC, and a coveted selection of channels from ESPN.
After launching in March, Vue has emerged as one of the only viable choices for those looking for a live TV option without the need to sign up for a cable or satellite subscription, alongside Dish Network’s Sling TV service. However, while Sling TV has made its way into multiple streaming devices since debuting in January, Vue has been hampered by its seclusion to just a few proprietary devices for much of its tenure. Today’s move should open the floodgates for more users to jump on board, but it remains to be seen whether or not Vue can appeal to the cord cutter crowd.
While Sling TV’s biggest selling point has been its lean design, offering 20 or so popular channels in its base package for just $20 per month, Playstation Vue is packaged much more like the services it hopes to upend, bringing on a more bloated channel selection, and a hefty price tag that starts at $50 and goes up from there. Throw in the fact that users still have to pony up for a robust Internet package — which can often be bundled with cable services for a better deal — and it’s difficult to say whether or not Vue can build momentum as it expands to other hardware.
That said Vue does offer some features other services don’t, including a DVR-style interface, as well as allowing users to store content in the cloud for up to 28 days — something Sling TV can’t match. Vue also offers premium channel add-ons like Showtime, as well as network affiliates from its markets in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, the San Francisco Bay area, and Miami.
Users who want to check out Playstation Vue can sign up for a free trial of the service here.