Sony cuts in half rate of PlayStation Now streaming video games service to take on Microsoft, Google

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Sony’s slashing rates for its video game streaming service.


Josh Miller/CNET

Sony isn’t playing video games with its PlayStation Now streaming video games service. Starting Tuesday, the regular monthly rate for the service will be halved, to $9.99 each month. Sony states it’s taking the significant action in order to restrain with competitors.

The brand-new rate, which drops from the $19.99 each month it costs now, will be “comparable to other entertainment streaming services on the market,” Sony stated in a declaration. 

While the relocation will likely be commemorated by customers, it uses yet another indication of how highly business want to contend to get our dollars. Streaming services have actually ended up being all the rage, with all way of business using TELEVISION, motion pictures, music and, yes, even computer games sent out online to your phone, laptop computer, tablet or console.

The appeal and ease of streaming innovation has actually pressed a brand-new generation of customers drops cable television costs, resulting in a land grab effort by the similarity Netflix, Disney, Apple, Amazon, Google and even CNET moms and dad CBS. 


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To attract ever more people, prices have dropped steadily. Disney Plus, for example, will cost $7.99 per month when it launches later this year, offering access to more than a dozen new original shows in addition to back catalog of Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel films. Apple TV Plus, meanwhile, will charge $4.99 per month when it launches later this year, promising new shows from entertainment royalty like Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell and Oprah Winfrey (not to mention, people who buy a new iPhone, iPad or Mac from the tech behemoth will get a year of Apple TV Plus for free).

While there are many streaming video and music services to choose from, Sony’s PlayStation Now, which launched in 2014, has been one of the few gaming services available for years.

Part of that, industry executives say, is the higher cost of building and maintaining the ultra fast internet connections and powerful data centers capable of creating a game’s intricate visuals, streaming them to a player, and then responding to button presses on a controller. Those costs helped to sink the early game streaming company OnLive, which shut down in 2015.

A new band of streaming services is starting up though, driven by falling costs of computer components and faster internet connections across around the world. They include Microsoft’s Xbox team, which will begin testing its Project xCloud streaming service in October, and game maker Electronic Arts, which announced its game streaming service last year and began publicly testing it last month. Neither has said how much their respective services will cost.

“The power of instant access is magical, and it’s already transformed the music and movie industries,” Google’s Phil Harrison said when he announced the tech giant’s Stadia game streaming service in March. It’s planned to launch in November, and will be free to use if you buy the game through Google. 

Not everyone’s convinced though. Some people believe that eventually people will sour on having so many subscriptions.

“Most Americans want two, three or four subscriptions — they certainly don’t want 40 of them, and they aren’t going to pay for them,” Strauss Zelnick, interim chairman of CBS and CEO of game maker Take-Two Interactive, which makes hit titles like Grand Theft Auto V and the western epic Red Dead Redemption 2, said in an interview this summer. 

To help PlayStation Now stand out, Sony’s relying on a back-catalog of more than 800 games available on the service, including its hit 2013 post-apocalyptic survival game The Last of Us, Bethesda Softworks’ popular adventure game Fallout 4, and the fighting game Mortal Kombat X which was published by Warner Bros.

Sony said it’ll be making some of its more popular games available on the service during the holidays, including the Indiana Jones-esque action game Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, last year’s epic God of War and Take-Two Interactive’s hit Grand Theft Auto V.

That pressure to stand out and become one of the few eventual survivors is likely what’s driving Sony’s decision to drop its price so dramatically.

“Word of mouth is still important when convincing your peers and people you game with that this is a good solution,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies. “if price is the first hurdle, then you don’t even get a chance to show your technology is superior.” 



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