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Poll: How Much Would You Pay for PlayStation Now?

Posted by Sammy Barker

The cost of the cloud

Sony’s cloud streaming service PlayStation Now is real. As is becoming customary for the company, the platform holder made the shock announcement without any real build-up during overlord Kaz Hirai’s enthralling CES keynote earlier this week, virtually shaking the industry out of its seasonal slumber. Even more alarmingly, the technology appears to work, as a selection of live demos from the show floor have evidenced over the past few days. But while we know a lot more about the Japanese giant’s vision of the future as a result of this week’s consumer electronics show, how much are you willing to pay to pump classic PlayStation games to your consoles, televisions, and tablets?

For those of you that missed the reveal, the abovementioned online innovation is the end-result of SCE’s acquisition of Gaikai in mid-2012. Founded by development legend David Perry, the firm originally offered on-demand PC demos via your web browser. It shut down its existing operations almost immediately after the PlayStation maker’s buyout, opting to work with the manufacturer in relative secrecy. The Earthworm Jim creator briefly re-emerged during last year’s PlayStation Meeting to discuss in wishy-washy terms the promise of the PlayStation 4’s cloud network, before stepping out of the limelight again until this week.

Granted, it wasn’t actually Perry that got to make the PlayStation Now announcement – that privilege fell to group president Andrew House – but, from what we understand, he’s still pulling a lot of the strings behind-the-scenes. And the product that the Northern Irish entrepreneur is pioneering is a bold one, bringing Sony’s stable of interactive software to a wide roster of devices that expands beyond the humble console. It’s been described as the Netflix of gaming in some mainstream media circles – an accurate analogy, seeing as the platform holder hopes to have you stumping up a subscription fee to play titles such as The Last of Us on-demand.

But while the vision sounds as grand as the hardware no doubt required to power it all, there remains a dollar-shaped elephant in the discussion: the price. The firm’s been fairly candid with technical specifications, roll-out plans, and more, but it’s still failed to address the issue of cost. We know that you’ll be able to ‘rent’ individual games or pay a subscription fee for full access, but other than that, we’re being kept in the dark until the service’s full summer release date. The company has said that you won’t get a discount if you already own a specific game for your PS3, so this is not the backward compatibility solution that some speculated. In fact, it’s something entirely original.

However, perhaps the Netflix comparisons may be apt. The popular movie and television platform currently charges $7.99 (£5.99) per month for unlimited access to its library of media, but would you be willing to pay that much for PlayStation Now? We suspect that your response will depend upon the type of content available on the service, which is set to start with PlayStation 3 games but expand to all three generations of Sony consoles eventually. It looks like a reasonable figure on paper, but will the platform holder be able to make it profitable at that sum? After all, there’s more than merely video streaming at play here – server farms need to render unique interactions for each user.

Perhaps you’d prefer if this was tied into your existing PlayStation Plus subscription, allowing you to stump up for a ‘Deluxe’ iteration of the premium offering in order to unlock on-demand content in addition to the usual roster of perks? Or maybe you’re only interested in game rentals, and want to know whether it’s going to be cost-effective for you to stream a specific title, as opposed to buying it at retail? Seeing as the official costs don’t appear to be decided, we figured that it would be fun to hold a little poll. Fill out the survey below, and then dive into the comments section. Who knows, maybe even Sony will be keeping watch to take note of your feedback.

Do you intend to invest in PlayStation Now if the price is right? (85 votes)

Yes, I’m really looking forward to subscribing to the full on-demand catalogue


I may rent the odd game, but won’t pay for a subscription


No, I’d rather play my games natively rather than stream them from the cloud


Please login to vote in this poll.

What would you consider to be a good monthly subscription price? (90 votes)

I wouldn’t pay a cent more than $4.99 (£2.99) per month


I already pay $7.99 (£5.99) for Netflix, so that sounds right


I’d be happy to pay $14.99 (£9.99), but no more than that


I would be willing to stump up $19.99 (£12.99) or more


Please login to vote in this poll.

Would you expect a discount as a PlayStation Plus subscriber? (91 votes)

Yes, I’d expect a reduction as I’m already paying for another Sony service


It would be nice, but I wouldn’t necessarily anticipate it


No, I don’t think it’s right to expect a saving as these are different options


Please login to vote in this poll.

User Comments (32)



ShogunRok said:

Is it confirmed to be a monthly subscription? Can't say I'm a fan of that model - I'd rather have it be annual like PS+.



BambooBushido said:

I'll pay if it's $10 a month or $14 a month now as for a full year $30 or $40 and that's the most I'd be ok with paying



get2sammyb said:

@ShogunRok It's not confirmed, but I think that's the way they'd do it seeing as people expect that from services such as Netflix. I really think when this comes out they're going to bill it as 'Netflix for gaming', so it would make sense to adopt that model in my eyes. Nevertheless, feel free to multiple the options by twelve and add a little on top if you want to think of it annually.



get2sammyb said:

@WickedKnightAl To be fair, I do think they'll do a Plus discount, as they have done that with Music Unlimited stuff in the past. Also, seeing as this is going to (eventually) be available everywhere, it makes sense to 'reward' their loyalest customers, who are obviously going to be the ones with PS Plus subs, too.



Paranoimia said:

Not interested. Not bothered about playing PS1 & PS2 games any more, and I still have my PS3 for those games I want to play.

I'm not overly interested in streamed games anyway. Streaming = compression, which means it will never look as good as playing locally on actual hardware.



get2sammyb said:

@Paranoimia The interesting thing about streaming PSone games is that the bandwidth it'll take up to play for an hour would probably be enough to download the full game anyway. I guess the immediacy and having it available everywhere is the draw here, though.



ztpayne7 said:

I think this is a great option and I would be interested if the price was around Netflix. A little higher may be acceptable, but it would really have to work great.

I don't know that I would expect a discount from plus, but it would be nice. Plus has kind of lost some of its exclusiveness this gen with a lot of people using it for multiplayer.



divinelite said:

I would love to pay for playing ps2 again and of course ps3 because I have no ps3

That being said I'll pay for certain games only not subs of there is an option for that



Shellybird27 said:

I hope its $8 a month like Netflix, if it is I will think Batman for listening to my prayers!



Ps4all said:

I signed up for the beta yesterday so hopefully I can get some hands on before buying. However, I'll try it out at least for the first month if its less than $10. Knowing Sony they will most likely do a free trial after launch.



Subie98 said:

All im willing to pay is $60 for a year or $5 monthly however they will do it. Same as the ps plus yearly cost. $120 for fees for the year is more than enough. Just my .02



moomoo said:

I think it all depends on what's on offer. If we're talking about the Wii U's VC library, then I wouldn't want to pay much. But if we're talking about access to dozens of PS3 games, both first and third party? I'd do that, even at $20 a month (although I'd also like a yearly option).



KAPADO said:

8 dollars, and that is without playstation plus.
I expect a discount .
Also it depends on how many titles are available.



Tasuki said:

As long as they dont get to crazy with the prices I will be getting this. About the most I will pay for is 15 dollars a month.



Gemuarto said:

Not interested at the moment. I played most PS3, PS2 and PS1 games I was eager to play. I think this service is good for casual players and new adopters, though. But maybe I'll rent something from time to time. It all depends on what games will be available. And if I do, I really don't know what I am ready to pay. 1.25 for one week rent =).



Zombie_Barioth said:

$7.99 sounds about right to me, for a strictly digital only service. I believe Gamefly charges $14.99 for their service but then they also ship out physical copies of games, which usually cost more than movies do as well.

Rentals better be relatively cheap though otherwise theres no point in offering both.



Bad-MuthaAdebisi said:

I think if you want 'now' and 'PS +' then double the PS+ sub would be fine. Even if they doubled it it would still be great value. It all depends on the library. I can see PS+ now music unlimited and movies/TV all being offered together at some point. Long way off though, maybe years.



eLarkos said:

Im just going to comment this here: This is a very exciting time for Sony and recently they have been making all the right moves, across all its divisions.



Grockumus said:

@BornOfEvil I think that this service should be more like Amazon Prime; $60 for a whole year, with free games and rent/own options.



charlesnarles said:

Okay, under what circumstances will it work (and not work)? My AT&T cable goes out whenever there's any hiccup in my bwidth. I'd hate to see how far I'd throw my Vita/ds4 if that happened during a boss fight etc lol jk but seriously. Also, @Paranoimia, Netflix looks bad while it buffers and plays at the same time, but that only happens on ps3, not at all on 4. The store actually responds on 4 too, so I feel like they've fixed whatever server nonsense was wrong before
[I voted for $5/mo]



JaxonH said:

Well, if the PS Now service was the cost of Netflix, I think it'd be at a competitive price. I mean, how many games will people have time to play each month considering work, school, and time spent playing new games they bought? That doesn't leave much time for back-catalog games. I'd really only have time for a game, MAYBE 2 a month. With that in mind, $8 is just right. Anything more than that and a person could just rent from Gamefly or their local video store for less. Just because you have ACCESS to hundreds of games, doesn't mean you're going to play hundreds of games each month. So it'll vary from person to person. How many games from the service would they actually have time to play and want to play each month? And would it be cheaper to just rent said games through Gamefly or other means?

It also depends on the selection. I mean, if we're talking FULL CATALOG, then sure. But limited selection? Not quite. Especially when it comes to the older games. I mean, most PS1 and PS2 games can be bought digitally for less than $5-10, depending on the game of course. How much are those games going to cost for rental? Because if it's a few dollars, I don't know why anyone would bother renting when they could buy for a few dollars more.

The biggest question mark for me in this is, well price of course, but also quality of streaming service. Netflix only streams movies, and even with a 30mbps speed connection it STILL comes in sub-HD at times. It also gets grainy with particles every now and then. Not for long, and not often, but it happens. And that's just a movie. How bad is going to be for video games with interactivity, response times to and from the server, etc? What happens when the internet connection gets a blip? Or weekly server maintenance? Or what happens when the network goes down for a day or two? Will subscribers get refunded a pro-rated portion for the time they couldn't play their games?

The more they talk about this service, the more questions I have. Probably not for me- I despise the premise of paying money for a game I do not take ownership of, but I'm sure there will be quite a few who jump on this bandwagon, given the right price point of course.



Paranoimia said:

@charlesnarles I've never had any issues with Netflix on any platform - PS3, PS4, tablet, Blu-ray player, or TV. But then I do have high speed broadband.

On the other hand, I did briefly try OnLive, and the games were pretty blurry and pixellated. Compression is more noticeable on games, especially around any text and lines on the screen, such as the HUD - and that wasn't even attempting 1080p. They'll never be as clear and detailed via streaming as they will when run on a local system, at least until internet capacity and ISP speeds enable streaming of uncompressed video.



charlesnarles said:

@Paranoimia lol uncompressed active HD 3d rendering sounds like treknobabble, but they figured out FLAC so maybe it's not so impossible. I still can't believe it's rolling out this year



Tony_342 said:

I just can't see this working properly. Surely there will be a ridiculous amount of lag involved in streaming games like this. I imagine it will work about like the Remote Play feature of the PS3 and PSP, which had so much lag that it was essentially useless and unplayable (I don't know how much better Remote Play is for PS4 and Vita, since I don't own a Vita).

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