Sony’s E3 press conference is the biggest hit of the annual video-game show so far, but tucked away between announcements of Last Guardians and Final Fantasy remakes was the news that Sony plans to beat cable-TV providers at their own game. It’s about to offer the first-ever à-la-carte cable subscription through its PlayStation Vue streaming service.
While the Vue’s rollout is happening at a snail’s pace—it’s currently only available in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco—the addition of à-la-carte TV gives the streaming service a huge edge.
For decades, customers have been pushing for à la carte—a subscription model in which people only pay for the channels they want—but no company has been able to make it work.
Sony seems to think that it has solved the problem. It’s already offering individual subscriptions of Showtime ($10.99/month), Fox Soccer Channel ($14.99), and Machinima ($3.99), and it has plans to break out other channels soon. The company is also offering discounts to customers who already subscribe to its PlayStation Plus service—it takes $2 off of the monthly fee for each channel for Plus subscribers.
The initial offering is definitely meager, but it’s a promising start. And because Sony is quite literally the only company that is trying to do à-la-carte pricing, it’s worth keeping an eye on the PlayStation Vue.
Screengrab via PlayStation/YouTube