Sony launching cable-style television service

A logo of Japan's Sony Corporation is displayed at its headquarters in Tokyo on May 14, 2014
A logo of Japan's Sony Corporation is displayed at its headquarters in Tokyo on May 14, 2014

Japanese entertainment colossus Sony on Thursday said it will debut a cable-style television service delivered through its popular PlayStation video game consoles.

Pricing was not disclosed for subscriptions to PlayStation Vue, which will debut with an invitation-only test phase in New York this month and then spread to Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

Vue is to launch commercially early next year.

The service will be available over the Internet on PlayStation 4 and its predecessor. Sony said that it should soon have Vue on iPads and that it is working to make it accessible from other devices.

Sony in August revealed that it has sold more than 10 million PS4 consoles since they hit the market late last year. Sales of the previous generation PS3 launched in 2006 topped 80 million.

Sony played up its focus on making shows or films easy to find, and how they can be queued in online servers to be viewed at one's convenience.

Sony Computer Entertainment chief Andrew House said that Vue "reinvents the traditional viewing experience so your programming effortlessly finds you, enabling you to watch much more of what you want and search a lot less."

Vue will launch with about 75 channels offering movies, television shows, and sports programs.

Partners signed onto Vue so far include CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBC Universal, Scripps Networks Interactive and Viacom, according to Sony.

Sony has been trying to revive the company by combining its strengths in film, television, music, video games, and consumer electronics hardware.

Sony last month announced a whopping $1.0 billion six-month loss, underlining its struggle to drag itself out of the red.

Sony said the challenges of a fiercely competitive smartphone business had weighed on its bottom line.

The company is in the midst of a broader restructuring as it tries to move past years of massive losses.

Sony's net loss for the six months to September came in at 109.1 billion yen, way up from a loss of 16.5 billion yen in the same period last year.

It also reported an operating loss of 15.8 billion yen, reversing a profit of 49.4 billion yen a year earlier, although sales ticked up 6.5 percent to 3.71 trillion yen.

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© 2014 AFP

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