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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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  • Sony can pack it in (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 02, 2014 @12:52PM (#47589259)

    They are so far removed from their customers, they don't even see it anymore when they're gouging them in one way or another. They bought their own intellectual property propaganda hook, line and sinker. Can't let the consumers have anything for a flat fee. Can't let them use anything in a way that wasn't intended.

    Sony, things don't become valuable by putting locks and price tags on them. Repent or you're finished.

  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Saturday August 02, 2014 @10:44PM (#47591673) Journal

    This is just the latest blast of greed from Sony with this console.
    I purchased a PS4 just a week or two ago, after holding out this long with our aging PS3 system -- under the assumption it would be a worth successor. In a few ways, it is. Certainly, the new DualShock controllers are one of the highlights. They're more comfortable to hold, have the ability to plug in headphones and route the game audio through them, have the touch-pad in the middle, different colored lights indicating player 1, 2, 3, etc. Good stuff. But then I discovered you couldn't even download your MP3 music to the PS4 from a memory stick to play it! The only way it seems to allow music playing is via a subscription service! Then you have to pay for the PSNetwork, or else you're pretty much locked out of playing games online. (That was always a reason I preferred PS3 to X-Box in the past... Don't like to pay subscription fees just for the privilege of online play of games I just paid $60 a pop for!)

    I'm *almost* surprised Sony didn't tell me that like my satellite TV box, I'm simply renting it from them and must return it when my subscription with them expires!

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982