Sony Kicks Off PlayStation Now Open Beta In North America

PlayStation Now has been a long time coming, ever since Sony snapped up Gaikai back in 2012. Some of the benefits of that purchase have already been visible in the streaming technology built into every PlaySation 4, but now we get to publicly see the main thrust of what their technology is about with streaming games as part of PlayStation Now.

Starting today, PlayStation 4 owners in the U.S. and Canada will be able to take part in the Open Beta for the service. At this time, this means that they’ll be able to rent from a collection of over 100 PlayStation 3 titles for periods of 4 hours, 7 days, 30 days and 90 days. Though the beta is currently restricted to the PS4, it will gradually spread to other Sony devices, including the PS Vita and some 2014 Sony TVs.

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The main sticking point at the moment is the pricing, which is much higher than many people would really be prepared to pay to stream a game. It will initially cost $2.99 for 4 hours, $5.99 for 7 days, $7.99 for 30 days and $14.99 for 90 days. Considering that many of these games can be bought for less than the $15 price second hand or during sales, the pricing feels quite excessive.

Thankfully, Sony do acknowledge that this is a problem. Some 4 hour rentals will be able to drop down to $1.99 in future, for example, and Jack Buser wrote on the PlayStation Blog to say that they are working on a subscription model. Regardless of the technological marvels running behind the scenes to get this working, the pricing is a hugely important factor in getting people to sign up.

We’ll hopefully to hear more about Sony’s plans for the service and its eventual launch in Europe at Gamescom.

Source: US PS Blog

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14 Comments

  1. If i was ever going to pay for streaming games – and i’m not ever – but if i was i would only be interested in paying a €50 yearly sub for access to everything.

  2. So no discount for owning a physical copy then? Kinda on the same topic, what are the chances of ever being able to play PS3 PSN downloaded games on PS4? I just got a couple of things in the sale yesterday (AC Liberation & Arkham Blackgate) and it’s gonna be a pain having to switch over cables all the time. Also, people who only have a PS4, or have now sold their PS3, can’t buy & play this huge back catalogue. I don’t really understand that choice?

    • Opening up everyone’s back catalogue of PSN purchases is unlikely to happen for free, but could feasibly be part of a subscription service (similar to how OnLive’s system works these days). The simple fact of the matter is that they need to have hardware to handle playing the game for you, so it’s not something that can really be offered without cost to everyone that’s bought a digital game.

      Oh, and get yourself a HDMI switch. It’ll set you back a few quid, but some of them can draw power over the HDMI cable and switch automatically to whatever’s powered on. Easy-peasy. :)

    • If you ever need an HDMI switcher, this been great for me so far. Does what Tef mentioned too (auto-detecting the signal, etc). Only £22.

      • *this has

      • Cheers that man. Looked at many of these types of gizmos on a large south american river website and reviews have been real mixed bag but this one seems promising. Also note they do a 3 port one too. In wish list until costing £15-20 becomes less important than getting off my wazoo n swapping cables the old fashioned way!

  3. Hopefully EA Access’s great price of £3.99 a month will force Sony to drop their prices by quite a bit, especially as EA’s games will be newer, albeit you’re downloading them not streaming them which must be a lot cheaper.

  4. There should be some kind of plus deal. 5.99£ a month or £7.99 but this 90 days malachi is just silly or 4 hours, who would pay just to play for 4 hours

  5. I would not think it unreasonable to offer a free hour to try the game and see if you like the quality/performance of the stream.

    • A try before you buy would be welcome especially at those prices, but that will be redundant if/when they bring in subscriptions.

  6. Can you earn trophies from the games you play over this?

    • Ping! Good question. I’m guessing you can do so for ps3/4 but not for 1/2 games

  7. Quite obviously the current pricing structure is in place to control sign up. If it’s too good a deal, the system will keep over under the loads.

    Don’t judge the service by pricing today, it roll surely evolve as the service is ready to expand.

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