With the playstation beta now in full swing we all need to take a step back and ask ourselves; is this everything we imagined it to be? The simple answer not really. But it can improve.
We have to remember this is just the beta so not all features will be implemented at once. The current price structure rings a few alarm bells first off with prices starting from around $5 for a few hours of play time and $30 for 90 days. The price varies from game to game but paying around $30 for a game you can buy on disc for less than half the price. I for one was looking forward to sonys new rental service. Being a daily user of services such as Netflix and Spotify I was hoping playstation now would been much the same; sleek, simple and well affordable. If Sony adopted a subscription scheme along the lines of Netflix I think they’d be onto a winner. This could however still happen when the service fully launches and Sony could just be trying to see how much money they can possibly get out of their rental service. Nice try Sony.
Anyway onto the games. At present the beta only has playstation 3 game avaliable to its users. So sadly no psone or ps2 titles, which is a bit of a shame. Sony has also been a bit hazey on whether or not they are actually coming to the service at all. If like me you want one system to play all your old favourites on you may not be luck. Well not just yet anyway. Sony has always been one to stagger out new services with playstation home coming to mind and even their movie rental service, both of which have arguably not been the big successes we hoped they would be.
The problem is that the price war between digital and physical games will always play a part in a playstation rental service. If you price the games too low digitally and undercut the brick and mortar stores they’ll loose money, make the price too high and people will be slow to adopt digital media which has been apparent over the past few years. This problem is also evident in the film industry which Netflix managing to seemingly overcome the problem and sustaining a successful service. However there is the ongoing issue of Netflix not having up to date movies and TV series and that they take a while to finally become available on the subscription based service. So if Sony does adopt a Netflix style approach this could be one thing we start to see. But is it really such a bad thing?
Lastly and by far my biggest point. Why was this not integrated with playstation plus? I know sonys ps plus service already gives users free games each month and some nice discounts too so putting the whole rental service in with that subscription would understandably be a bit too much but if they included it for an extra say $10 on top of ps plus I would have no problem paying that, although I doubt this would happen.
Ideally if Sony were to listen closely to their users and come back after the beta with several reasonable ( emphasis on the reasonable ) monthly subscription plans then I would be more than interested. Add in a library of old classics and cross platform saves if the service comes to the vita and they’re onto a winner.
What do you think about the new playstation now service? Have you managed to get your hands on the beta? Are you skeptical of the new service? Let us know by visiting our Facebook page or leaving a comment below.