For a lot of PS4 owners, the news that Sony’s PS Vue live TV streaming service will be shutting down at the end of this month came as a bit of a shock. With no other live TV streaming services available on the popular gaming console, it meant that subscribers would have to buy another streaming device just to get access to an alternative service. Still, as we had hoped and expected, Sony has decided to open up the PS4 to third parties: Today, YouTube TV launches on the PS4, making it the first non-Sony-owned live TV service on the platform.
With this announcement, it’s now just a matter of time before the PS4 (and PS4 Pro) become full-fledged alternatives to devices like the Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV for folks who are looking to cut the cord in favor of live TV streaming subscriptions. So far, however, the monopoly has shifted from Sony to YouTube TV.
YouTube TV might prove to be very popular with PS Vue customers. At $50 per month for its one-price-fits-most selection of more than 70 channels, YouTube TV costs the same as the base PS Vue package, yet offers more channels. Its unlimited-capacity DVR feature will also feel like an upgrade.
On the downside, YouTube TV doesn’t offer much in the way of additional channels for those who want to really load up on entertainment options. PS Vue’s top channel package included over 90 channels and each package included the ability to add on popular services like HBO, Cinemax, and Epix for an additional monthly charge. YouTube TV has some paid add-ons, too, but they do not include these channels.
YouTube TV is also a bit stingier when it comes to the number of accounts you can associate with a single subscription and how many of those accounts can stream simultaneously. PS Vue offered 10 accounts and 5 simultaneous streams, whereas YouTube TV only offers six accounts and three streams at the same time.
PS Vue users also enjoyed an unparalleled level of control over channel playback, with pause, skip forward, and skip backward available on all of its live TV channels, something no other live TV service has offered so far.
Despite these relatively minor shortcomings, we think YouTube TV is an excellent value for the money. And while it may not please all PS Vue subscribers who find themselves looking for an alternative, we suspect it won’t be long before other choices come to the PS4 platform.
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