Tag Archives: PlayStation Network

PlayStation Wants to be the New Netflix, but That Will Never Happen

PlayStation Powers

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.

PlayStation wants to be the new Netflix, but that will never happen

Have We Reached the Saturation Point for Quality American TV Shows?

saturation point for quality

Given the already overwhelming amount of quality TV, does anyone really want to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for even more of it? We’ll start to find out this weekend, as Cinemax premieres The Knick and Starz unveils Outlander. As I wrote at Quartz,

While the series are generating enthusiastic reviews (The Knick in particular), they will likely have a much tougher time drawing audiences than they would have just a couple years ago. Because both Starz and Cinemax are premium channels, sampling those shows means shelling out even more money each month to do so. And for those already on the hook for cable fees—for basic cable, HBO and Showtime—as well as payments for Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime, it will be hard to justify the additional expense, particularly given that these networks have little to offer those new audiences beyond that single show.

Even those of us who write about TV for a living can no longer keep up, so it’s hard to believe that too many others can make the time — and find the money — for even more original content. Time is money, and when it comes to quality TV, do we have enough left of either? Starz and Cinemax certainly hope so.

Have we reached the saturation point for quality American TV shows?