PlayStation Vue Nears Commercial Debut: WSJ

Following an invitation-only period that has involved thousands of consumers, Sony will launch its new virtual MVPD service, called PlayStation Vue, in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia within two weeks, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Those market deployments, which would meet Sony's announced plans to launch the service sometime in the first quarter of 2015, will come ahead of a planned nationwide rollout by the end of the year, the report added, citing Andrew House, president of Sony Computer Entertainment.

“PlayStation Vue has a great potential to help complete the redefinition of what the PlayStation platform is all about,” House told the WSJ.

Sony has not yet revealed pricing on the service, but PS Vue is emerging amid a small but growing cord-cutting trend and the emergence of other over-the-top alternatives such as Sling TV, the recently launched broadband-delivered multiscreen service from Dish Network that starts at $20 per month for a slimmed-down package of programming.

Sony has also not announced a specific launch date for PS Vue but did put forth several details about it in November, revealing a range of program partners, including Viacom, Scripps Networks Interactive, CBS, Discovery, NBCU, and Fox, that allowed the company to start off with a beta version that offered about 75 channels per market. The service will initially be supported on PS3 and PS4 consoles, though Sony said it plans to extend access to iPads as well as more Sony and non-Sony devices. At the time, Sony also mentioned Los Angeles among its test markets and said it expected to launch PS Vue commercially sometime in the first quarter of 2015.

Sony has yet to announce a deal with other major programmers, including Disney/ESPN, but House told the paper that discussions with others are “ongoing and are moving forward positively,”