This week during the Tokyo Game Show, Andrew House, chief executive of Sony's PlayStation unit, revealed that the company is currently in talks with media providers about an Internet TV service. The company plans to launch this service before the end of the year in the United States, and it has already scored a Viacom deal that will bring 20 shows to Sony customers.
House also acknowledged that the company has intentions to extend the PlayStation Now service to other non-Sony devices, such as tablets, smartphones, HDTVs and more. PlayStation Now is currently on the PlayStation 3 (beta) and PlayStation 4 consoles, allowing subscribers to stream games to these two consoles. More than 150 games are available to stream including Saints Row The Third, Darksiders, Deus Ex Human Revolution and more.
"A streaming-based approach needs to have a very wide funnel of devices, and that inherently means a broad- and manufacturer-agnostic approach," said House.
The company is gearing up to launch PlayStation TV in the United States; it's a small $100 device that allows customers to stream video and play many PS Vita games without the need for Sony's PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4. The device will also have access to the PlayStation Now service as well as Sony's Video Unlimited service.
Reports of extending PlayStation software to non-Sony devices isn't new. Over the last several years, Sony has indicated that PlayStation would become a service, not a brand locked to hardware. Target devices would include smartphones, tablets, Windows PC and Blu-ray players. However, the PlayStation devices would still remain as the core target.
News of Sony's Internet TV efforts arrive after Sony reported that it posted a $1.7 billion impairment charge on its smartphone division due to declining sales. The company also increased its net loss forecast to $2.15 billion for the fiscal year ending in March 31, 2015.
"I will be at the center of making sure that restructuring will be completed this year and that we will turn a profit in the next financial year. A recovery is my responsibility," said Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai. "This is the first time we've not paid a dividend and we feel that responsibility as management very heavily."
Sony is looking at its PlayStation unit to bring the company back into the black. Hirai said back in May that the PlayStation 4 would be the company's biggest driver for its network services, which has 52 million active users, most of whom have a PlayStation console.
"Now we've got broadband and can send content in the blink of an eye ... the technology has finally caught up with the times," he told Reuters.