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PlayStation (Games) Sony Games

PlayStation Now, Sony's 'Netflix For Games' -- Pros and Cons 75

An anonymous reader writes: When Sony acquired nascent cloud gaming service Gaikai, it was obvious they were interested in bringing streamed gaming to the PlayStation. The service is in the process of coming online, in a beta test that started this week. The idea is simple, and one that game companies are excited about — but it's also complex and expensive, creating a new problem for each one it solves. The biggest difficulty you'd expect — latency — actually seems to hold up pretty well. It'll even hold its own when fighting for bandwidth with Netflix and other video streams.

But the expense of using the service is excessive. "To rent Darksiders, a game that's been practically given away to PC owners thanks to Humble Bundle and the collapse of publisher THQ, you can pay $14.99 for 90 days, $7.99 for 30 days, $5.99 for 5 days or — no joke — $4.99 for four hours. ... Final Fantasy 13-2 costs $29.99 for 90 days. A used copy of the same costs $20 at GameStop." In addition, the pricing options are unusual and unpredictable. Users can't simply pay a flat monthly fee for service. "Variable pricing is in place because Sony gave the publishers and developers free reign to set their own prices, which results in wildly disparate costs for different games and different periods of rental time. It's not even mandatory that you have to have all four categories of rental time. I went to check out Saints Row 3 and found that it only had the four hour and 90 day options."
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PlayStation Now, Sony's 'Netflix For Games' -- Pros and Cons

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  • sega channel (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Saturday August 02, 2014 @12:51PM (#47589255) Homepage
    Anyone else remember sega channel for sega genesis? i think 11.99 got me unlimited games on it for the month (granted i only recall 5-8 games on it at a time, and they would rotate every month) Seems like a much better price structure to me. 9.99 a month to play whatever limited rotating catalog is there, i think a number of gamers would pay for that, but with the prices the way they are talking it will fail (after it makes moms and dads angry at their kids for their 200 a month gaming bill)
  • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Saturday August 02, 2014 @12:56PM (#47589279) Homepage Journal

    Were it "Netflix for games" you'd pay a flat monthly fee and be able to play whatever game(s) you want.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday August 02, 2014 @01:27PM (#47589405) Homepage

    This is one of those problems a free market can solve. It might lead to better games, if some games do well at higher prices while others have to lower theirs.

  • pros and cons (Score:1, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Saturday August 02, 2014 @01:27PM (#47589411) Journal


    There's your biggest con, right there.

  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot&worf,net> on Sunday August 03, 2014 @04:09AM (#47592443)

    What did you expect? The old Sony is back - after taking a beating by both the Wii and Xbox360 last generation, they were humbled.

    So they produced this piece of hardware called the PS4. They saw the Xbox One and how Microsoft fumbled it (again, Microsoft got greedy because they saw the success of the Xbox360). They see the PS4 outselling the Xbox One by miles and think they own it all.

    The lessons were that no, the Xbox One isn't out - think of it as the PS3 of the last generation (the PS3 was a joke until a couple of years in and a few price drops later). In fact, the Xbox One sales are probably like the PS3 was back then. Both can end up quite successful (the PS3 was quite a good system in the end).

    Even better, we NEED both. If anything, to keep both Microsoft AND Sony honest. And they are - features announced on one are added to the other, so competition is keeping both in check.

    Heck, PS+ and Xbox Live - the free games keep getting better because Microsoft started offering two games a month, then Sony, and so on. Blu-Ray 3D was next (Microsoft announced it for the August update, PS4 got it the week after that). Media playback is probably coming next.

    There's no doubt, though, both consoles are INCREDIBLY immature at launch - they both needed a year - even now both are way better than they were at launch.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"