Playstation Now – Sony’s Gaikai-based video game streaming service which allows users to stream hundreds of PS3 titles on PS4 has been constantly picked apart due to its insanely expensive rental packages.
PS Now allowed users to rent their favourite titles for various time-frames: 4 hours, a week, a month, and three months at varied prices. But why would anyone, who has an old PS3 lying somewhere, pay $14.99 for 90-days if one can buy a new one for almost at same price and keep it? Take Metal Gear Solid 4 as an example! This led to a constant criticism by Sony fans who demanded a more appropriate price point and preferably a subscription plan.
Paying heed to users’ feedback, Sony announced that PS Now will have subscription plans from Jan. 13, 2015. The two subscription plans that were detailed include a monthly plan for $19.99 and a three-month plan for $44.99 (about $14.99) per month. Following the subscription announcement, we again witnessed mixed responses from Sony’s fanbase having varied opinions regarding the subscription plans.
While $19.99 per month seems like a realistic price design for hundreds of PS3 titles, one thing that one must consider here is that how many of these titles can someone play in a month? But then again, we have users who are likely to go with three-month subscription plan which is around $14.99 per month and play all they need in vacations like summer holidays. People who don’t own a PS3 or hardly finish a game might hop in to get the services, but I hardly see hardcore community getting use of it – even at this price point.
One more thing that is worthy of consideration is the limited number of available games as of this instant. Sony should seriously consider expanding the library to include PS, PS2, and more PS3 games (preferably RPGs) to give users more value for their money. And this is something Sony is considering at the moment. Speaking of the limited content, a spokesperson from Sony stated that they’re looking forward to bring classic titles from PS and PS2, but currently they’re focused on PS3 titles:
Our long-term vision is to bring classic games from PS1 and PS2 to the service. We are focused on PS3 content for now.
There is no doubt that this is one of the most amazing services by Sony and offering subscription plans is another step in the right direction, but if Sony wishes to grab about $240 per year from its users for a streaming service, they are in dire need to offer them quality titles and a lag-free experience.
Indeed the loading time and streaming quality majorly depends upon the internet connection of a user, there’s hardly denying that PS Now has its issues which need to be sorted out as a first priority. Netflix, a streaming service offers movies at far cheaper rates and has better functionality than what PS Now is currently offering.
Another thing that Sony should definitely consider doing with PS Now is to grant users the ability to get their hands on games from other regions. I’m pretty positive that a large number of players, who are against the revised price point and subscription plans, will gladly do so if they’re allowed to stream games, say a ton of Japanese-RPGs without worrying about the import fee that they had to pay.
Or Sony could also make it a part of Playstation Plus subscription plan. As impractical as it sounds, this would allow users to sign-up in a heartbeat.
Still, with everything said, it’s hard to come to a certain conclusion whether the current price point is justified or not. Personally, I would hold off hopping in unless I get old classics added to the library and a fix for latency. Luckily, for those of you who wish to get your hands on a subscription plan, Sony is currently offering a 7-days trial period to everyone. This will allow you to see whether your current internet connection is able to offer a seamless experience or not.
For the sake of comparison, Gamefly offers $15.99 for one game and $22.95 for two games which are delivered by mail and has an extensive library of both old and new games. As for Sega Channel, it requires a $25 subscription fee and a $14.99 fee per month which are offered by cable line and offers a library of 50+ games which are rotated after every month.
Although Playstation Now is offering cheaper plans, the lack of content becomes a hurdle. Do you think $14.99 per month (with three-month package) is justified or Sony needs to revise it? Let us know!