E3 2014: Sony Reveals Pricing of PlayStation Now
While we’ve heard plenty of good things about the PlayStation Now services and gotten a look at some of the games but one key component of PS Now that hadn’t been revealed during the closed beta was the pricing model. With the announcement of the PlayStation Now open beta starting on July 31st, Sony took the opportunity to reveal the prices of renting games on the service and it may not endear them to many gamers.
A press release from Sony indicated the rental prices for most games would be between $2.99 and $19.99. When we last heard about the PS Now service, a closed beta user said that the games were available for rent for periods of 1, 7 and 30 days. Presumably, $2.99 would be the daily rate while $19.99 would be the highest 30 day rate.
This isn’t to say that these are the exact prices that we’ll see when the PS Now open beta launches in a month-and-a-half. Sony made sure to say that publishers and developers can set their own prices. I’d imagine that means that you are unlikely to see $19.99 monthly rental rates unless it’s a brand new PS3 release on PS Now.
One part of any expected PS Now pricing model that is noticeably absent is the inclusion of a subscription price. Many gamers had been hoping for a Netflix-like monthly subscription plan but that won’t be a part of the open beta. Sony Computer Entertainment says that subscriptions will be a part of future PS Now plans. Of course, with monthly rentals costing users up to $20 per month, I doubt Sony will be charging $8 per month or $10 per month like Netflix of the WWE Network.
And just as I’ve been saying for a while now, PlayStation Now’s success will rely on the pricing of PS Now for the consumer. Until we see subscription pricing, we won’t know how successful PS Now will be. Right now, I’d imagine that gamers won’t be too happy and that won’t mean anything good for PS Now.
Here’s the full press release, in case you were interested:
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) today announced that the open beta for PlayStation Now (PS Now), the company’s streaming game service that leverages cloud-based technology, will become available to PlayStation 4 (PS4) users in the mainland United States and parts of Canada on July 31, 2014. The service will then expand to PlayStation 3 (PS3) systems from September, followed by PlayStation Vita, and also PlayStation TV by the end of this year in the US and Canada.
SCE has been conducting a private beta on PS3 systems with select participants since this January and more recently with PS4, and has been working towards the delivery of the open beta while receiving constructive feedback from users. By expanding the beta to the general public, SCE will give more gamers the opportunity to experience the benefits of game streaming and also continue to collect important user feedback to further evolve the service.
At the start of the open beta, over a 100 titles covering a wide range of genres will be available from SCE Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS) and the industry’s best software developers and publishers. SCE will work with its publishing partners to test various rental periods and prices, depending on how and when players would like to game. For example, there will be shorter rental periods priced as low as US$2.99, and most titles will be between US$2.99 and US$19.99. As with all content published on PlayStation platforms, publishers and developers will ultimately decide their game price points. Furthermore, SCE plans to offer subscription options in the future.
SCE’s vision for PS Now is to introduce the world of PlayStation to more consumers than ever before and provide the freedom to quickly discover and play a wide range of full games on the Internet-connected devices they use every day. The accessibility of the service will continue to expand, and SCE will begin a private pilot service to people who own a PS Now compatible 2014 Sony TV in the US.
Furthermore, SCE will continue to prepare for the delivery of the PS Now service in Europe and Japan.
SCE will continue to evolve the PS Now service by expanding the library of titles, enhancing features, and broadening the range of compatible devices.
Source: Original Gamer