Sony is revving up its OTT strategy, launching its PlayStation Vue linear streaming service nationwide. But its other product announcements signal that it may be planning to take online video in some slightly different directions to set it apart in the exploding VOD and live linear markets.
After a year in limited release as Sony tested its video player and negotiated licensing deals with various networks, PlayStation Vue finally went live nationwide, available to customers in 203 viewing markets with streaming plans starting at a "Slim" $30 per month for 55 channels. That's still higher than Dish Network-owned Sling TV's $20 per month base package, but a darn sight cheaper than the $50 per month Vue initially cost as Sony worked to figure out the pay-TV market and its labyrinthine retransmission and content licensing requirements.
In addition to Vue, Sony launched a new PlayStation Video app for Android devices. The app enables customers to access the movies and TV shows they have rented or purchased from Sony's video content store, and watch the content on their mobile devices. Available for download from the Google Play Store, the Android app should provide a value-added boost to Sony's transactional video on demand (TVOD) strategy.
And finally, Sony finally put a price tag and launch date on its promised virtual reality (VR) viewing headset, the PSVR. Hitting the market in October of this year, the PSVR will retail at $399, the company announced at the 2016 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
While ostensibly for PlayStation console gaming, the continued growth of VR video and the support being given to the medium by online video providers like YouTube could position the PSVR as a leading device for VR viewing across the board thanks to its competitive price. Headsets like Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive retail at $599 and $799 respectively, TechCrunch noted.
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