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Will PlayStation Now Be Viable For Every Gamer?

Will PlayStation Now Be Viable For Every Gamer?

I take a look at the updated PlayStation Now Beta and here is what I think of its current state

PlayStation Now was announced at the beginning of this year and was another huge focus at E3 a few weeks ago. It makes perfect sense as the service is slated to go into a “public beta” here in just over a month. That is July 31st for those out there who still had no clue. For those with a clue, then you would now that it is and has been in a closed beta since the first announcement. I’ve been able to dive into the beta for a while now and now that it is more than just a proof of service type of test I figured I would give you my two cents on the whole deal.

As a bit of background for those still reading who haven’t Googled what PlayStation Now is, it is a video game streaming service for the PlayStation and some of Sony’s other hardware out in the world. All it requires is that you have a PS3 or PS4 controller, a strong internet connection, and a piece of hardware that can run the application to connect you to Sony’s servers. Currently that would be only the PS3 and PS4. What PlayStation Now does is run whatever game you so choose to play on a system housed at a location Sony designs and you get to see everything you are doing. Just like Onlive and a few other services like that but specifically only for PlayStation titles.

It was fun for a while being able to play PS3 only titles on my PS4 but the novelty seems to be wearing off now that PlayStation Now looks to be moving into the state of the open beta land. Read that as things are changing in preparation for the new wave of gamers out there who want to “test” the service. While I am sure this is most likely to fix some of my gripes I had about the service, mainly the latency between the console and the service, it looks like we are getting the first taste of how the “rental” program will roll out here once July 31st hits and all PS3/PS4 owners are let in.

Here is where I think PlayStation Now is going to lose me.

It was well known that PlayStation Now was going to have a rental option for the games on the service. In fact there have been listings for every title on PlayStation Now up until now that just listed as “Free” to get the stress testing underway. Now those have been updated to what I assume is going to be the price point to play these titles once it is 100% live. They are downright ludicrous as well.

Each title on the PlayStation Now service looks to have an option to rent the game, assuming like timed trials, for 4 hours, 7 days, 30 days, or 90 days. Decent options so you don’t get saddled with a horrible game for too long and have buyer’s remorse. Given the price points though I think that remorse will be setting in none the less as almost all the titles on PlayStation Now list a 4 hour rental being between $3 and $5 USD. 4 hours should let you know if you like a game enough to sink more time into it correct. But for titles like Stick It To The Man that is ⅓ of the $10 price to own the game forever. For that instance, using the same game, the 90 day rental is the same as buying the full game on the PSN right now. This is a title that can already be played on both consoles without the service and that is the asking price?

If this first wave of pricing sticks how does Sony even expect to keep PlayStation Now up and running. There are other titles on the service right now that are cheaper to purchase the full retail game at GameStop than it is to rent the game for 7 days. Hells, Alpha Protocol and Deus Ex: Human Revolution would be two of those titles; those are the only two that I looked up to write about here but I sure every other title on PlayStation Now currently is in the same boat.

In the end though, this could also be market research for PlayStation Now as it is still not completely 100% yet. I think it will crash and burn if it keeps this kind of pricing or at least doesn’t offer a monthly subscription that makes all or most titles free to play while that subscription is active. I know I would pay $15 or a month to have access to a slice of the available titles without need of extra payment. Then again that would be just like their Instant Game Collection for PS+ subscribers currently and not utilizing their new tech and service. They just need to do something with that pricing.

Please note that this is all based on the state of the service at the time this was originally published. Things may change and I hope they do. If not, this may be the most recent flop of technology Sony will be facing like what happened to all of the things the Xbox One has been boasting and then removing.

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