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.
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