So it looks like another service is getting the boot this week. Sony Is shutting down PlayStation Vue by 2020. The news of the shutdown isn’t all that unexpected though. The raising of subscription prices for the service a few months ago signaled to some users and analysts that the end was near. The service was originally built as a TV-based addon for the Playstation Store, offering TV and movies to everyday TV viewers and PSN users.
Anyone still using PlayStation Vue subscriptions will be able to use the service until January 2020. Movie and TV content will still be available via the PlayStation Store, but Vue content will no longer be available after it is shut down. This means that those who bought into the service should still have access to content in the future.
The service originally launch in 2005 as a competitor to the early entrants of online video and DVD distribution like Netflix and Hulu. Vue, however, is more like a traditional TV service than a full-on streaming service, where subscribers could sign up for broadcasting packages. These package each had their own items and offerings, creating a situation where buyers had to choose between services they might want that were spread across different packages. A further mistake didn’t link the service to the Playstation console, a branding mistake.
Deputy President John Kodera explained further in a PlayStation Blog post: “Unfortunately, the highly competitive Pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals, has been slower to change than we expected. Because of this, we have decided to remain focused on our core gaming business.”
Such a development is the unfortunate reality of the ever-changing world of online media and TV services. As companies like AT&T lose millions of subscribers to other services, Sony is right to pivot into more profitable ventures. With ongoing work on the PS5 looking promising, Sony will no doubt look toward console gaming as a major focus, pushing streaming to the sideline for now.
There are legitimate concerns being raised about the fragmenting of entertainment this kind of announcement signals. The price for TV packages could be considered affordable, especially when compared to spending $10-$15 a pop for Netflix, Hulu, HBO and a bunch of other network-exclusive services all at once. But still, TV is undeniably changing.
PlayStation Vue will be available to subscribers until January 30, 2020.