UK Beta users of game streaming service, PS Now, have reported that the new prices that have been added to the service and they're pretty outrageous. How Sony expects to succeed with such high prices for rentals is beyond anyone's imagining, especially seeing as many titles can be bought outright physically for similar prices. There's a lot of work to be done, if PS Now wants to survive beyond launch.
As things stand, there is no monthly subscription option like there is in the US. Instead, expect to pay a flabbergasting £4.99 (two days) or £9.99 (30 days) for PS3 titles or £2.99/£7.99 for PSN titles for the same times. Before Blockbuster went bust you'd pay less than a fiver for a brand new rental for up to five nights. Sony is charging a fiver for last-gen games for two days. No dice.
Game prices are kind of our jam here at Dealspwn and you'd be getting better value by just buying most titles on the service, in many cases it would actually be cheaper. Sony told Eurogamer that they are going to use feedback to help shape the pricing. But how does that make it ok to charge these prices now? For a beta service too! All I'm hearing there is "we'll see how much we can get away with."
We're big believers of the potential of the service, but this is a serious stumbling block. Yes, Sony, you spent many millions on Gaikai, but you're not going to make money on your investment any time soon if you take gamers for chumps who have no idea about how much games are worth in this day and age.
Sony isn't alone in delusional pricing for individual titles by any means. Have you seen some of the rental prices for TV/film on Amazon's Instant Video service? Sony really need to nail the monthly sub prices, then they can charge whatever they want for individual titles as long as gamers can reap the rewards of a flat monthly fee. The US monthly price of $19.99 (about £13) or $44.99 (£29) for three months offer significantly better value, but as time goes by, we're really going to see PS4 titles (full-sized and PSN) make their way to the service. Naturally, current-gen titles may be too much of an ask for the service's capabilities at this stage, not to mention the varying broadband speeds around UK homes.
If Sony don't providing some attractive pricing options soon though, the whole thing could be dead in the water and largely ignored by the time it rolls out officially. We really want it to succeed though. Anything that extends the life of a console's back catalogue is essential to preserve gaming's legacy as the frequent console generation changes and lack of backwards compatibility are going to make it difficult to enjoy older games in the years to come.
Have your say folks? What sort of price would be reasonable for the service or what else do you need to see before being convinced of the value or potential?