PlayStation Now Rental Prices Are Higher Than Retail
In the run up to the open beta of PlayStation Now that is scheduled to launch in July, PS Now users in the closed beta have noticed a major change as Sony gets geared up for that milestone. Sony has added prices to the PS Now menus and those prices have potential customers up in arms.
In a quick examination of half of the PS Now games on offer by Game Informer, each had a purchase option that cost the same as or less than the price for a 90 day rental of a game on game streaming service. While it’s entirely possible that the eight games that Game Informer is reporting on are cherry picked for the most extreme results, the fact that half of the games on PS Now are more expensive to rent than buy is still a damning indictment of the current pricing model of the service.
The two indie games sampled, Guacamelee and Stick It To The Man, are both available for 90 day rent at the same price as their PSN retail price. The other six games (which include Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know, Alpha Protocol, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Saints Row III) have 90 day rental prices greater than either the retail price or the PSN price. At the very least, none of the 30 prices are greater than the retail prices.
One important thing to keep in mind is that PlayStation Now is in beta. Considering that first reports indicated that the game rental periods would be 1, 7 and 30 days and we’re seeing rental periods of 4 hours, 7 days, 30 days and 90 days, changes are obviously happening behind the scenes. If people aren’t happy with the prices, chances are that Sony will have to step in to keep gamers happy.
Sony is also quick to point out that publishers set the prices for the games. Either they (especially Square Enix since they’re the worst offenders of pricing higher than retail) haven’t really given a whole lot of thought to PS Now pricing or they’re exploiting the inability to play PS3 games on the PS4 (and later Vita, PlayStation TV and other PS Now compatible devices) by charging a premium.
If enough people take an issue with the pricing, I’d imagine Sony will step in to put a price cap at the regular PSN price for a game. Until then, you might want to be careful what you spend your money on when renting from PlayStation Now.
Source: Game Informer