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HBO Now apps coming soon to PS4 and PS3 (update)

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PlayStation Vue getting Cinemax and HBO, too

Westworld - Teddy/Dolores photo 1920
Teddy Flood (James Marsden) and Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) in HBO’s Westworld.
John P. Johnson/HBO

HBO Now apps are finally coming to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, HBO and Sony announced today.

The companies did not give a specific release date, but said that the apps will be available in time for the Oct. 2 premiere of Westworld, HBO’s biggest new series this fall.

HBO and Sony also announced today that HBO and its subsidiary network Cinemax are on their way to PlayStation Vue, Sony’s streaming alternative to cable television. Both networks are set to arrive prior to the debut of Westworld, and will be available as individual additions to a Vue subscription for $15 per month each. Vue customers who subscribe to HBO or Cinemax will also be able to use their login credentials in the networks’ streaming apps: HBO Go, HBO Now and Max Go.

Sony always seems to lag behind Microsoft when it comes to HBO. HBO Now apps debuted on Xbox 360 and Xbox One this past April. Apps for the network’s other streaming service, HBO Go, launched in November 2014 on Xbox One, and in March 2015 on PlayStation 4.

It’s at least nice to see HBO and console manufacturers continuing to support last-generation platforms. HBO Now came to Xbox 360 one day after Microsoft ended production of the console, while ESPN discontinued its Xbox 360 app this past March.

For more on Westworld, look below for the "Dreams" trailer that HBO released yesterday.

Update: HBO's press release announcing the impending debut of HBO and Cinemax on PlayStation Vue described the upcoming launch as "the first time that either network’s live programming is available directly to consumers as a standalone offering without the need of a bundle subscription."

We checked with HBO to clarify what that means, and here's the deal: Interested parties will be able to subscribe to Vue and just pay Sony $15 per month for HBO (or Cinemax) — without subscribing to any of Vue's programming tiers, which start at $29.99 per month. That à la carte offer is unprecedented. (HBO and Cinemax are both available through Sling TV, but only as add-ons to one of the service's channel packages.)

Now, why would someone bother with Vue if they could just pay the same price for HBO Now on its own, without going through Sony? Well, with Vue, you would get the actual HBO or Cinemax channel, so you could watch live programming or catch it later via the respective network's on-demand offering — and if you subscribed to HBO, you'd also be able to log in to the HBO Now app.

As for the cost — $15 per month is standard for HBO, but some services (like Sling) charge around $10 a month for Cinemax — the HBO spokesperson said that Sony set the pricing.

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