Sony has revealed its TV and movie content partners for the PlayStation 4 console, which is launching on the 29th of November 2013. From launch the company intends to offer a total of 18 services (outside the US), with other services to be added at the beginning of December and through the following months. The services available at launch will include Sony's own music and video entertainment services, as well as local video services such as BBC iPlayer in the UK and Ireland, Lovefilm in Germany and UK, Viaplay in the Nordics, and others. Sony intends to create more partnerships with video service providers in the near future. Services available in the USA were revealed previously, and include Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus and Netflix.
After the launch of PlayStation 3 in 2006 Sony has continued to add more ancillary entertainment to its consoles alongside the core gaming proposition. Customers of the PlayStation 4 will be able to access a variety of different entertainment services, with the full list of apps in the file attached, correct as of 29/11/13.
Overall the list of apps which will be available on PlayStation 4 from launch broadly mirrors the services available on PlayStation3; however, the console is currently missing such popular services as YouTube, as well as services from major broadcasters in Europe such as RTVE, Antena3 in Spain and Channel 5 in the UK. IHS expects however, that services which are already available on PlayStation 3 will be added to the PlayStation 4 in the coming months.
But comparing the PlayStation 4 with its main rival in the game console market, Microsoft's Xbox One, shows that despite the fact that Sony is attempting to position its game console as a device which brings a large array of entertainment features to the home, it still provides a less comprehensive array of video services than the Xbox One. However, there are regional differences, with Sony targeting certain countries currently underrepresented in Microsoft's content array. Sony, for instance, has deals across the Nordic region, which will allow customers in Nordic countries to watch content from Netflix, Viaplay and VidZone services via the PS4.
It seems unlikely however, that Microsoft's typically wider array of content services will be sufficient to outweigh the price differentials present across the consoles (for example in the UK the PS4 will retail at £349 compared to £429 for the Xbox One) and persuade otherwise reluctant consumers to opt for the higher-cost console - IHS has previously indicated that it believes that Sony has the edge in the latest console battle (see "PS4 and Xbox One Console Forecasts: Neck and neck at launch" for the full analysis of factors influencing uptake trajectories). Nonetheless, it is clear that both manufacturers are set on enhancing the ancillary entertainment services on their devices and IHS expects that a wide array of additional video services will be added across territories over the next few months and years.