Sony PlayStation Now service drops its price
Competition is heating up for on-demand gaming
PlayStation Now, the on-demand video game service offered by Sony, is getting a major price reduction. It’s being cut in half and will now only cost $9.99 a month, a definitive indication of the growing competition in on-demand gaming that has found several tech giants join the space. The price cut is now in place and falls in line with major rival Microsoft, which offers the Box Game Pass service.
The platform was first introduced about five years ago as a video game rental service. It later switched to a subscription model that has proven popular. The new price is not only similar to Microsoft’s offering, but is equal to Google’s Stadia platform and slightly more than Apple’s Arcade, which costs $4.99 a month. In difference to Microsoft and Sony, though, Google makes users also spend $69 for a special controller. Stadia is expected to be launched next month and Microsoft’s alternative, xCloud, is coming before the end of October.
Grace Chen, the VP of PlayStation’s global services unit, explains, “It’s a combination of us having expanded into 19 territories and all of the learning since we started this service. Consumers are moving toward this type of price point.”
The on-demand platform offers access to more than 800 games, including two new titles that are now being added. Marquee titles are expected to rotate after a few months and players will have the option of either downloading the game to play locally, or play them from the cloud.
The CEO of research firm DFC Intelligence, David Cole, sees the move as beneficial for Sony in several ways. He explains, “Sony wants to make sure they give the perception they’re not letting competition get a leg up. I talk to a lot of investors who don’t necessarily know the gaming industry that well, but they see Google as this huge potential threat. Now Sony can say that not only are they not going to lose on pricing, but they have the edge on content.”