Who reading this despises what we spend on cable and satellite TV every year? Who thinks that what we get for our money, and the programming provided is an awful value, and more competition in the market would be a wonderful advancement in an industry? One that lacks severely from the rest of the most technologically advanced countries across the world. Enter PlayStation Vue. Sony announced that they would begin to offer a new television service that allows you more freedom and ease of finding your favorite TV shows and programming. No more surfing through a bunch of channels that you’ll never watch, and not being able to find the shows that you want. The service runs through your PlayStation powered device and allows you to use one central hub for all your programming. Sounds great right?
Then you hit the details of the newly found service and find that it isn’t quite all it is cracked up to be. The first issue being the speculated pricing of the service at what most industry analysts think will find a price tag of about $60. According to the New York Times article, that beats the average of about $90 per month that most people pay now a days for the service. With the service carrying only about 75 channels, and to their credit many of the leading networks being a part of it, but even at a $60 price tag that is still well above what people pay in all reality. With most cable providers the service costs are cut for those that subscribe to more than one service, and most gamers would subscribe to internet over all else. While most that get the premium services pay a bit more than the suspected asking price of the upcoming service, PlayStation Vue doesn’t offer premium services for the premium cost they are charging.
Not to mention that two major players in the television industry, Disney and ESPN are excluded. That is a deal killer for those that love their sports, and seeing some of the simple facts, such as Madden NFL 15 selling more copies on the PlayStation 4 over any other system, those that love sports will undoubtedly choose another means. To not include a network that has over 115 million viewers per month, is a major miss. If you’re going to charge a high price, then you have to have a high level of content. This is something that PlayStation Vue does not. Not only that, PlayStation Vue misses on one of the biggest complaints for television consumers; offering channels at a large cost that they won’t ever watch in the end.
Should PlayStation Vue want to truly make their mark, they would have decided to let the people that subscribe to their service pay less and get the channels they want. They would have allowed consumers to create their own TV package, something that many would be willing to pay a premium for anyways. Don’t offer less, provide less, and charge more. Offer something different, provide alternatives, and then charge the applicable amounts for the services provided. I can tell you that PlayStation Vue doesn’t cut it as they just miss the mark completely.
Looking at my own cable options: I have service, through Charter for an average of $100 a month. That includes television and internet, with channels that should be there such as ESPN, ESPN 2, Disney, Disney Jr., all my local channels, and more. If I got rid of my television package, the price of my internet goes up by $10 a month. That makes the combination of PlayStation Vue and my internet, that it takes to run the service in the first place, to a total of $120. I pay $20 more to get less? Seems hardly worth it to me. This isn’t even hitting the fact that, too ,we are missing AMC and ABC; one of which carries the highest rated show on television, The Walking Dead, which holds the all-time largest Neilson ratings for a single episode; the start for Season 5 debuting just a month ago. Ask Dish Network how that worked out for them, losing AMC for part of The Walking Dead season a short time ago, and how many consumers they lost because of it. What about the upcoming contract expiration with Direct TV and how concerned their subscribers are.
There are good features that don’t go unnoticed such as the ability to bookmark shows and hold onto them for 28 days and watch them at your leisure, much more like Netflix. Other features like having three days after the initial airing of the show to watch it without even having to book mark it. There are the on-demand features that would be a welcomed edition to any viewing, but there are far too many things such as price and lack of service that cause it to not measure up. PlayStation Vue has the chance to grow into something better, and has the opportunity to set the benchmark for television viewing, but unless they decide to revamp and find ways to stand out above the competition… it winds up being just another feature to add to the list of things that don’t get used in the end.