Sony PlayStation Now Price Slash is Because of Competition Including Google Stadia?
Sony's PlayStation Now is available for just $9.99 a month, in an attempt to stay competitive against the Google Stadia, Apple Arcade and Microsoft xCloud.
Image for Representation (Source: Sony PlayStation)
Sony has repackaged the PlayStation Now subscription service. It is now at half the price as before and, perhaps, double the benefits. Sony’s attempt at competitive pricing comes just ahead of the cloud-gaming war, with Google’s Stadia Pro, Microsoft xCloud, Xbox Game Pass, EA Access, Uplay+, and Apple Arcade all gunning to be the top cloud gaming subscription service. The PS Now’s monthly subscription has been slashed to $9.99 (equivalent to Xbox’s Game Pass and Google’s upcoming Stadia Pro) from $19.99, the quarterly price went from $45 to $25, while the yearly pack is now $60 compared to the earlier $100. Also, considering that PS4 users are more often than not already paying for the PlayStation Plus subscription, Sony’s latest move levels the price of the PS Now and PS Plus.
Sony PlayStation Now already offers an impressive library of more than 700 games, and it has added more recent hits as well. Grand Theft Auto V, Uncharted 4, God of War, Infamous: Second Son, and Santa Monica Studio's God of War reboot will be on the line-up till January 2, 2020. Sony said that it would add "a refreshed selection of marquee games" each month, available for an (unspecified) limited period. These popular games will be in addition to some “evergreen” titles which will be a permanent fixture in the PS Now library.
While PS Now was the first to arrive on the cloud-gaming scene by far, preceding Microsoft’s game streaming service Project xCloud by a full five years, it won’t be alone for long. Even five years late, the xCloud has expanded its offerings well beyond the Xbox One console, enabling players to launch Gears 5 and Halo 5: Guardians on their smartphones or tablets. However, Sony’s attempt at fair-pricing could ensure that it holds its own besides the Stadia and the xCloud. Although, fair-pricing is not the only thing that PS Now should be worried about if it wants to give a serious shot to surviving in a cloud-gaming market with multiple players.
Backwards compatibility is an important aspect that most cloud-gaming services are working towards, and Playstations' efforts in this direction have been haphazard, at best. Microsoft has already confirmed that Project Scarlett will support previous-generation Xbox games. Since PS Now is a cloud gaming service and doesn’t require the console to read a disk, running previous-generation games on it should be even easier.
In fact, if Sony plays it smart and combines its PS Now and PS Plus, it could have a Nintendo Switch Online-like service on its hands, offering its subscribers, not just older-gen games and online services, but also streaming to their PCs. Now that is exactly what could give the PlayStation Now a much-needed edge against the Stadia and xCloud.
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