Sony's PlayStation Now to adopt subscription model
Instead of renting one title at a time for a set period of time, subscribers will have access to a full array of titles.
Lance WhitneyContributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Sony is getting into the "all-you-can-play" subscription business with its PlayStation Now game-streaming service.
Currently Sony's PlayStation Now service enables PlayStation 4 owners to stream PlayStation 3 games to their consoles, one game title at a time and for a certain period of time. However, starting January 13, Sony will unveil two subscription plans that will give players access to more than 100 PS3 titles in one shot, the company said on Monday.
You'll be able to select from two plans: one that costs $19.99 per month and another that costs $44.99 for three months of access. The subscription plans first will reach PS4 owners across North America and then branch out to other PlayStation Now-supported devices. PlayStation Now is accessible on the PS4, PS3, PS Vita, PS TV and certain Sony smart TVs. The service also will expand to Samsung smart TVs during the first half of 2015.
Sony's goal with PlayStation Now was to give users of different PS devices an opportunity to play PS3 games they might otherwise not be able to play. However, the rental model proved cumbersome with varying game prices and rental times. The subscription model is a cleaner approach -- one that may prove more expensive for the casual gamer, but will be cheaper for those who want to take greater advantage of PlayStation Now.
Streaming games via PlayStation Now bypasses the need to buy or download games. The service also allows players to experience PS3 games without the need for a PS3 console. Sony promises that it will expand its PlayStation Now game lineup beyond the approximately 100 titles currently available. It also will offer a free seven-day trial to the subscription plan when it rolls out.
Some of the titles available for PlayStation Now include Final Fantasy XIII, God of War: Ascension, Killzone 3, Mass Effect 2, NASCAR '14 and Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition.
As further incentive, Sony will offer a free PlayStation Now theme for PS4 users in early January. Those of you who download the theme before January 31 will be entered into a drawing to win a one-year subscription to PlayStation Now.