PlayStation Vue, Sony's subscription over-the-top video service for its gaming platform, is set to begin streaming on Amazon's Fire TV box and Fire TV Stick, with support for the Google Chromecast coming soon, the company said Wednesday (Nov. 12).
The deal with Amazon marks the first time the cloud-based service has been available on connected-TV devices other than Sony's PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 consoles. Sony had previously released a mobile iOS app-based version of the service for the iPhone and iPad.
Expanding the service to the Fire platform opens it up to an even broader consumer audience, Sony said. Using Amazon's streaming devices enables PlayStation owners with an existing Vue subscription to access the service on additional TVs in the household without purchasing additional gaming consoles.
The expansion closely follows a carriage deal Sony struck with Disney earlier this month that brings the full complement of Disney and ESPN Media networks to the service, including ESPN, Disney Channel and ABC Family, as well as ABC-owned local stations, filling what had been a sizeable gap in the Vue lineup
Both Vue's lineup of standalone channels available nationwide, such as Showtime, Epix Hits and Fox Soccer Plus, and its multichannel packages available in select markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco and Miami, will be available on the Fire devices.
In a limited-time holiday promotion starting on Nov. 15, new Vue customers in those markets who sign up for a free trial of PlayStation Vue's "Core" or "Elite" programming tiers will receive a free Amazon Fire TV Stick with their first month's paid subscription; Core is a package of sports channels, and Elite is an entertainment package.
Sony also has reduced the prices of those two tiers, another marketing move timed to the holidays; the new rates are available now to new subscribers, while current subscribers will receive the new pricing in their next billing cycle, the company said. The basic "Access" package of some 50 broadcast TV, movie and sports channels remains unchanged.
Later this year Sony will extend the service to the Google Chromecast via its PlayStation Vue Mobile app for iOS devices, which will bring the number of devices that can stream the service to seven (PS4, PS3, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, iPhone, iPad and Chromecast).
"Adding PlayStation Vue to these popular streaming devices is a great way to extend our pioneering cloud-based TV service to other TVs in the household and to reach new consumers who don't own PlayStation consoles," said Dan Myers, head of product for PlayStation Vue. "With the holiday season around the corner, now is the ideal time for us to expand PlayStation Vue access."
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