PS Now will flop if pricing is similar to beta

Word has gotten out from leaks about the pricing schemes Sony is testing out in the ongoing private PS Now beta. While we expected a little bit of sticker shock, some titles are priced out of this world.

Remember, Sony says these prices aren’t final and PS Now isn’t going to be “officially” released until later in the summer. They have yet to reveal a price for a Netflix-like all encompassing plan that gives players access to all PS Now games so that’s something to keep in mind. But the individual pricing on titles is insane and if Sony actually goes public with rental prices anywhere near they can expect PS Now to flop catastrophically.

Some older titles are reasonably priced from what I’ve read from beta leaks. Like how Sonic CD is $5 for 90 days. You could argue that since that $5 will buy you Sonic CD on PSN they should turn that 90 day rental into a life-time rental but this game’s pricing looks ideal compared to others.

Square Enix is the biggest stand out, asking $30 for 90-day trials of Deus Ex and Final Fantasy XIII-2. Who in their right mind would pay $5 to test out a super long, 30 hour plus RPG for only 4 hours? Both of these games, FF 13-2 and Deus Ex, can be purchased new and used at much cheaper prices than the 90-day rental price.

Pay $30 to play this for 3 months or $6 at GameStop? You decide.

Pay $30 to play this for 3 months or $6 at GameStop? You decide.

Basically from what I understand the majority of reasonably priced games essentially ask their full retail or PSN price just for a 90-day trial. This compares terribly and consumers aren’t stupid. People don’t want to pay $15-$30 for a limited trial of a game that they could physically or at least digitally own for the same price or less.

Ever since the mid-90’s, Sony has been known to go on a roll with stellar announcements and solid gaming decisions only to make some serious head scratching moves every now and then. Like when Sony was on a roll with a steady flow of great PS3 exclusives in 2009, released the $299 PS3 slim only to ship a $250 PSP Go to the dismay of fans everywhere. It seemed like Sony was actively trying to fuck things up with the pricing and marketing of the PSP Go and potentially PS Now’s pricing could be a repeat of this same mistake.

I get it, this streaming tech ain’t cheap. But Sony can’t be out of touch with what consumers want that much and actually think $30 3-month rentals will be successful. I understand that Sony is also letting third parties set their pricing but Sony needs to step in to an extent and say “don’t charge more than this”. Otherwise these laughable prices reflect poorly on PS Now as a service and will encourage potential users to ignore it due to how expensive it can be.

Don’t even start on the fact that a PSN user can actually own a game digitally on PS3 or PS4 and they can’t even get free streaming access. Again, maybe free streaming access to games we’ve already purchased digitally is too much to ask seeing as how the streaming tech costs Sony so much but they could at least give players an option to pay a small fee to have streaming access to their digital library. Think of it like how Nintendo charges players $1-$2 to upgrade their Wii Virtual Console games to use Wii U specific features.

As is if Sony releases PS Now to the public with anything near these prices the service will be laughed off the face of the earth. PS Now users will pay for one or two $5 rentals to test the service out or show it to friends but then go about their life buying physical games and acting like PS Now never existed. Hopefully Sony makes some serious pricing changes before release because launching PS Now with prices like this would be a death sentence for the promising service.