The stream of streaming TV announcements continues. After the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that Apple is due to come out with a television streaming service this fall, Sony steps in with a soft launch of its version, PlayStation Vue.
Sony said Wednesday that the service is now available over PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 consoles in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia. Like others, Vue offers both live streaming and on-demand TV, as well as DVR, without a cable or satellite subscription.
And like Dish Network's Sling, Vue offers live sports, though the former has the market cornered on ESPN programming. The top tier plan from Vue has local sports, though, from stations such as the YES network, which broadcasts New York sports, including Yankees games.
This is a substantial deal-sweetener, since losing local sports coverage keeps many fans from cutting the cord.
And the sweetener might be necessary to help the cost of the service go down smoothly. The basic Sling TV service is $20 a month, with add-on packages like extra ESPN channels or kids stations costing $5 apiece. If you get all of them, it tops out at $45 for about as many channels. Apple is reportedly set to offer 25-plus channels for between $30 and $40 a month. Sony's Vue, meanwhile, starts at $50 a month, going up to $70 if you want all 80 or so available channels, including local sports.
That's a lot of channels, but it's also a lot of money -- and if you want to watch in multiple rooms, you're going to need a lot of PlayStations.
Sony will add the ability to watch Vue on iPad soon, and eventually will expand to other cities.