PlayStation Now, the new service from Sony, is now in open beta on PlayStation 4. It is, in a way, a modern technological marvel. The idea of being able to stream a game is not a new one, but Sony’s PlayStation Now works very well, which is kind of new. It’s a concept that hasn’t been done on this level with this much competency yet, but that doesn’t mean that it’s without issues. Taking a cursory look through the PlayStation Now catalog you’ll see what is absolutely insane costs associated with renting a game.
It is a bit exciting to imagine being able to play PlayStation 3 games on a PlayStation 4 (for now) and other devices (later), but the costs associated with it simply don’t make sense. In a way, EA’s EA Access that was just announced seems like a better deal for consumers. $5 a month, access to newer games, plus EA’s catalog is pretty solid. Sure, they are different products, but at the core they are similar; you are playing games that you don’t own for a cost. Sony’s prices don’t make sense when renting some games for 90 days costs upwards of $50. These are games that can be found new or used for a fraction of that cost.
When you can look at EA’s latest cash-grab and say it makes more sense than another product we have a problem.
Granted, to buy those games you’ll need a PlayStation 3, which some players might not have, but if you really love a few games you’ll undoubtedly save money by spending $150 for a pre-owned PS3 and then pick up those games for $5 to $20.That’s not the kind of decisions that Sony should be forcing gamers to make with this new product. This is a new, exciting product and it feels all wrong.
Sure, they’ve talked about considering subscription-based models for the future, but if they consider the costs that they have now as fair, what will a subscription look like? Sony was able to wow and win over gamers with the PlayStation 4, which is evident by looking at sales compared to the Xbox One right now, but at times you can see how stubborn Sony really can be when it comes to innovation. PlayStation Now is a technological step forward that just doesn’t make sense for the end consumer.
Let’s hope that it’ll get better, but let’s not hold our breath.