When I wrote about my 2015 resolutions for networks and streaming outlets back in December, I noted that “simply no room for anything less than the very best. Upstart content providers: is your new series as phenomenal as Orange is the New Black or Transparent? If the answer is no, don’t bother.”
PlayStation didn’t listen. On March 10, it launched its first original series, Powers, for its PlayStation Network. As I wrote at Quartz,
With its original series streaming plans, PlayStation Network had hoped to become the next Netflix, but given the lukewarm reception for Powers, it would have better off as the next Xbox: a brand that smartly bowed out of creating original content rather than get lost in the digital TV clutter.
Unlike the warm embrace given to Netflix’s first high-profile series, House of Cards, Powers’ reception has been decidedly mixed and far from rapturous.
One recurring criticism is that Powers looks “cheap,” which must be particularly tough for PlayStation to hear, given that the company has insisted that the show’s budget is on par with Netflix series like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards.
Sony wants Powers to sell PlayStation Plus memberships, but that’s not going to happen if consumers have no interest in watching given the show’s lukewarm reception. Netflix, meanwhile, can now safely cross another potential streaming competitor off the list.