Sony has officially launched PlayStation Vue, a television streaming service available through PS4 and PS3. The service is now available in three cities throughout the United States.

PlayStation Vue is meant as a competitor for cable and satellite providers. Subscribers can access live TV along with on-demand shows, movies and sports through their PlayStation consoles.

"Your favorite shows and channels will always be front and center whenever you start PlayStation Vue," Sony Network Entertainment VP Eric Lempel said on PlayStation.Blog. "When you are looking for something new and exciting to watch, powerful discovery tools will help you filter thousands of shows in just moments, so you can search less and watch more. The cloud based DVR lets you save your favorite shows with no programming conflicts and store recorded episodes for up to 28 days."

PlayStation Vue is now available in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia following beta tests in those areas. Los Angeles was one of the locations for the beta as well so I suspect PS Vue will launch in that area next.

"We want to get to a lot of cities very quickly. This is the most complex thing we've launched since starting the network," Lempel told Gamespot. "Everything we've launched usually comes out by country. In this case, because we felt local programming was important to the users, we wanted to make sure we got those deals signed so that it involves the local affiliates individually. But this year, we will be delivering a lot of new markets, so it's something that will evolve very quickly."

There are currently three different subscription levels offered, each offering a different set of channels. Here's the full breakdown revealed by Gamespot earlier today:
$50 Option -- Access
  • 50 channels total
  • Broadcast: CBS, CBS Plus, Cozi TV, Exitos, FOX, MyNetwork, NBC, Telemundo
  • Network: Animal Planet, BET, Bravo, Cartoon/Adult Swim, CBS, CMT, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, Destination America, Discovery Channel, Discovery Family, DIY, E!, Esquire, Food Network, Fox Business, Fox News Networks, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, FX, FXX, HGTV, HLN, Investigation Discovery, MSNBC, MTV, MTV2, Nat Geo, NBC Sports Network, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, OWN, Oxygen, Science, Spike, Syfy, TBS, TLC, TNT, TruTV, Travel Channel, TV Land, USA Network, VH1.
  • AMC networks will be available in April (including AMC, IFC, Sundance, and WE tv)
$60 Option -- Core
  • All of the $50 channels plus:
  • Network: BTN, Golf Channel, TCM
  • New York Only: YES Network
  • Philadelphia Only: Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
  • Chicago Only: Comcast SportsNet Chicago
$70 Option -- Elite
  • All of the above channels plus:
  • Network: American Heroes, BET Gospel, Boomerang, Centric, Chiller, Cloo, CMT Pure Country, CNBC World, Cooking Channel, Discovery Fit & Health, FOX College Sports Atlantic, FOX College Sports Central, FOX College Sports Pacific, FXM, LOGO, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, mtvU, Nat Geo Wild, PALLADIA, Sprout, TeenNick, Universal, Velocity, VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul.

Like other entertainment apps, PlayStation Vue won't require a PlayStation Plus subscription. Sony is currently offering a 7-day free trial for the service, though you'll need to provide a credit card to take advantage of it.

While PlayStation Vue is currently only available on PS4 and PS3, other devices will be supported in time as well. For example, an iPad release is expected in the "near future" according to the PlayStation Blog post.

Cheaper, streaming alternatives to cable and subscription are all the rage these days. Yesterday Dish Network's Sling TV launched on Xbox One with subscriptions starting at $20. HBO will soon launch a standalone service of their own called HBO Now.
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