Sony’s PS4 gets Redbox Instant, Flixster and exclusive Sony content – but no big TV play

sony ps4

Sony unveiled key details of its upcoming PS4 game console Monday night in Los Angeles, and showed off a decidedly different take on TV and media consumption than Microsoft did with its Xbox One. In short, PS4 media content will be pretty much the same as PS3 media content, and the company will leave it to Microsoft to try to reinvent television.

The new PS4, which will go on sale for $400 this holiday season, will offer all major media services already available on the PS3, including Netflix as well as Sony’s Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited services.

The device will also get additional content through new apps from Redbox Instant and Flixster — but those apps will be available on the PS3 and the PS Vita as well. And finally, the device is going to feature exclusive Sony Studios video content — but the company curiously didn’t reveal what this content will be like. And that exclusive content will presumably be available to PS3 owners as well.

Sony made the announcements during its E3 press conference, which naturally was focused on gaming and not movie or TV consumption. Microsoft’s own E3 press conference didn’t make much mention of the Xbox One’s media capabilities either — but the company more than made up for that during a press event a few weeks ago, where it painted the One as a new kind of entertainment device that merges TV viewing and gaming.

And the Xbox One does have a lot more media functionality built-in, including the capability to access live video via HDMI pass-through, a TV guide and a whole separate operating system for entertainment apps. However, the device is also a bit more expensive than the PS4: Microsoft said this morning that the Xbox One will cost $500 when it goes on sale in November.

It looks like Sony may have decided that all that TV functionality wasn’t worth the extra money.

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