Sony To Shut Down PlayStation Vue TV Service, Refocus On Core Gaming Business


Sony said Tuesday it plans to shut down its PlayStation Vue skinny-bundle TV service in order to refocus on its core videogame business.

The end of the line will come next January 30. Viewers of films and TV programming can continue to access them via the PlayStation Store and through partner apps. Sony is getting set to launch the fifth-generation PlayStation during the holiday season of 2020.

“Unfortunately, the highly competitive Pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals, has been slower to change than we expected,” the company wrote in a blog post. “Because of this, we have decided to remain focused on our core gaming business.”

Vue had been up and running since 2015 and was one of the first internet-delivered bundles to offer more interactive features for an appealing price point. Nevertheless, it did not achieve a scale comparable to newer offerings like YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV. Sony has never publicly released subscriber numbers for Vue, but analysts and industry trackers believe it never cracked 1 million customers. The total marketplace for skinny bundles has been hovering in the range of seven to eight million homes, a fraction of the total pay-TV universe.

The skinny bundle segment has also been under pressure as initially attractive price points have been raised by the likes of AT&T and Dish Network. With a multitude of direct-to-consumer offerings, the innovation of replicating the traditional cable bundle in an internet-delivered package has not yet matched the reality of consumer demand.

The first PlayStation debuted in 1994, with the PlayStation 4 hitting the market in 2013.

Sony’s blog farewell attempted to strike an upbeat tone. “We are very proud of what PlayStation Vue was able to accomplish,” it said. “We had ambitious goals for how our service could change how people watch TV, showcasing PlayStation’s ability to innovate in a brand-new category within the Pay TV industry.”

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