Sony is launching an “all you can play” monthly subscription deal for its streaming service Playstation Now. It hopes the move will attract players put off by the current confusing and often expensive per-game pricing.
The service was announced this time last year and launched as an “open beta” in July. It lets player access games through an Internet-connected PS3, PS4, Playstation Vita, PlayStation TV or compatible smart TV.
The original pricing model, which will still be available, let players choose whether to rent access to a game for four hours, seven days, 30 days or 90 days. However, it appears games publishers can influence both the durations a particular game is available for, and the price.
For the most part, the four hour rentals simply aren’t worth the cash, while some of the 90 day rentals (and some of the 30 day rentals) are too expensive compared to simply buying the game outright.
Under the new option, players can subscribe for one month for $20 or three months for $45. The subscription deal doesn’t cover all the games, but rather includes more than 100 titles, roughly half the total available to rent individually. It’s not just the cheaper/more obscure games that are available: Titles such as Arkham Asylum and The Last of Us are among the list.
The Playstation Now subscription package will launch on PS4 in North America at first, then roll out to other Playstation models and areas later. It makes sense to target the PS4 first as that may appeal to existing PS3 users who are thinking of making the leap to the new console but are worried about the comparative lack of new games available on the system.
It’s tough to make a fair comparison with other game rental services: although this is an unlimited deal, realistically most people aren’t going to get through more than one or two titles a month. The big advantage isn’t so much the price as the fact that you can try out multiple games and if any turn out not to hold your interest, you haven’t wasted one of your monthly picks and don’t have to wait to get a new disc in the mail.