PS Now Pricing: A Mixed Bag

The open beta for Sony’s PlayStation Now service has just been made available in the US. The beta features 122 PS3 games that can be rented and streamed through the PS4 (although Sony plans to bring the service to other devices such as PlayStation TV). The service allows the games to be rented for varying amounts of time with prices ranging from 4 hours/$2.99, 7 days/$5.99, 30 days/$7.99, 90 days/$14.99 to 4 hours/$4.99, 7 days/14.99, 30 days/$18.99, 90 days/$29.99.

People have been saying that these prices are absurd and that Sony should lower them but seem to be missing out on the fact that both the publishers and Sony have to agree on the prices as well as the fact that the 7 and 30 day options are actually pretty good deals for most games.

However, some of the prices are completely ridiculous and need to be reconsidered. Why offer an option to rent a game for 4 hours which, for most of these games essentially only amounts to an extended demo? Instead, Sony should think to replace the option by a typical 1 day rental that varies from $1.99 to $2.99. Furthermore, offering a 90 day rental option for essentially the same price if not more than the game can be bought (used, retail, or digitally) is completely egregious and Sony is out of its collective mind if they think anyone will fall for that option.


Additionally, people seem to be demanding a monthly subscription option but are forgetting that it must already be hard for Sony to negotiate payments for games to be on PS Plus and if we are talking hundreds if not thousands of games this option seems almost impossible. This is, of course, barring Sony’s own first party games as well as some contracts here and there with certain publishers. These negotiations limit the reach that the service would have.

In short: although certain options need rethinking — like switching the 4 hour demo to a 1 day rental– and others need to be phased out completely (90 day “rental” for the cost of buying the game), Sony’s subcription service does seem to offer an enticing price point for a 1 week and potentially 1 day rental of  games that players don’t see themselves spending more time with.