Sony has announced it is shutting down its TV service, PlayStation Vue, on January 30th, 2020, stating it has decided to “remain focused on [its] core gaming business”. The news confirms recent rumours the company was looking to sell off its TV platform as the troubled service continued to lose money.
“Today we are announcing that we will shut down the PlayStation Vue service on January 30, 2020,” wrote John Kodera, SIE deputy president, in a PS 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.
“PlayStation fans can continue to access movie and TV content through the PlayStation Store on PS4 and via our partnerships with top entertainment apps. With 100 million PlayStation 4s in the market today, our community continues to grow and thrive. We will continue to deliver the best entertainment experiences across the network, along with other key gaming services, including PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus.”
PlayStation platform holder Sony targeted the cable TV market with its video-on-demand service back in 2014. PlayStation Vue was not a PlayStation-only product but also had an iPad version in development alongside the PS4 and PS3 releases at launch.
“PlayStation Vue brings the best of live TV and a robust catalogue of the latest content, always keeping you connected to what’s popular, new and trending,” then SCE president Andrew House said at the time. “Today’s announcement builds on the historic success of PlayStation 4 and demonstrates what our company is capable of when we embrace disruption and stay true to gamers.”
Vue passed the 100k subscriber mark a little over a year after its debut, but it remained unavailable in the UK, and availability of state-specific live channels varied in each region. As of May 2019, the service offered 80 channel to had 800,000 subscribers via a range of devices, including mobile.
“We are very proud of what PlayStation Vue was able to accomplish,” Kodera added. “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. We want to thank all of our customers, some of whom have been with us since PlayStation Vue’s launch in 2015.”