Archived Story

Time to wait on PS Now

Published 5:56pm Saturday, August 9, 2014

I’ve written before about my excitement to play Playstation 1 and Playstation 2 games on Sony’s Playstation Now streaming game service. I have wanted to play old games like “Tai Fu: Wrath of the Tiger,” an interesting action platformer where you learn martial arts movies and defeat giant snakes, dragons, bulls and more.

There are other games like “Dragon Valor,” a silly action RPG that looked really awesome at the time and had a great picture gallery once you beat the game (and unlock its multiple endings).

Yet my excitement will have to wait. Sony is showing few signs that PS Now, which hit open beta for the Playstation 4 at the end of July, will carry a massive backlog of games right away. PS Now seems to have a few kinks to work through before it hits the market.

The service itself seems to work OK, with a few hiccups and framerate issues here and there. Yet the PS Now is drawing flack for its pricing, mainly its top-tier, three-month rentals that cost $49.99. Though some titles can be rented for four hours for as little as $2.99, there isn’t uniform pricing among the 100 or so PS3 titles currently available for streaming.

This presents several issues for Sony. The developers have set their own prices, as well as rental tiers, which doesn’t offer consumers the best value for its rentals. Many gamers could buy some of the PS3 games currently offered for less than what PS Now charges.

What’s more, Sony may run into selection issues. If PS Now can’t deliver on its promise of a deep, deep library, gamers could turn elsewhere for their gaming needs. Sony reps have confirmed to various outlets that they’re exploring more titles but are only offering PS3 games for now.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so it’s wise to wait and see what Sony has in store. The best possible model for PS Now would be Netflix, but there are likely many legal and technical hurdles to jump over before PS Now becomes as expansive and all-encompassing.

The PS Now is still a great idea. Now we have to see what Sony does with its potential.

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