‘God of War’ is one of five new games coming to Sony’s PlayStation Now cloud gaming subscription service. PS Now is also getting a price cut to $9.99 monthly, from $19.99. (Photo: Sony Interactive Entertainment )
Been thinking of giving Sony’s PlayStation Now cloud gaming service a spin? Now you have even more reasons.
For starters, the video game maker is reducing the price of the subscription service to $9.99, down from the previous monthly charge of $19.99. You can also subscribe annually for $59.99, down from the original $99.99.
And to sweeten the deal, Sony has just added a quintet of popular PlayStation 4 games to PlayStation Now: “God of War, “Grand Theft Auto V, “inFAMOUS Second Son,” and “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.”
This is the first wave of new featured content Sony plans to bring to PlayStation Now. These releases can be played until January 2, 2020.
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PlayStation Now is currently stocked with more than 800 games – hundreds of PlayStation 2, PS3 and PS4 games that can be streamed on the PS4 or on PC devices. And more than 300 PS4 games can be downloaded onto subscribers’ PS4 consoles.
Sony’s move comes as the entrants in cloud and online subscription game services is crescendoing. Last week, Apple launched its Apple Arcade service ($4.99 monthly) for iPhone and iPod Touch with more than 70 games, and Google started its Google Play Pass ($4.99/month) with more than 350 games and apps for Android phones, tablets and Chromebooks.
Coming next month: Google’s Stadia cloud gaming service, which streams console-quality games to your TV, computer or Pixel phone. And Microsoft is expected to begin public testing of its Project xCloud game-streaming service this year, too.
PlayStation Now – not to be confused with Sony’s PlayStation Plus service ($9.99 monthly) which gets you online gaming access, discounts and free games – has been around for more than five years. Microsoft two years ago debuted its Xbox Game Pass cloud subscription service ($14.99 monthly/includes Xbox Live online gaming), which also gives subscribers access to new releases.
But Sony doesn’t see only gaming companies as competition. The new pricing syncs with “what people are already accustomed to with other streaming services,” said Grace Chen, vice president of global services for PlayStation. “The new price is going to be a lot more compelling value to consumers.”
Sony will also begin a global marketing campaign for PlayStation Now, which recently expanded its reach within Europe, including a first-ever TV commercial.
“I think it is just this inflection point of having the right content and having that at the right price point, especially now that we have expanded the service more into Europe,” Chen said. “We feel this makes sense.”
The impending arrival of Google and Microsoft’s new cloud gaming services called for Sony’s “more aggressive approach,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, director and head of games research and lead AR/VR analyst for IHS Markit, in a note about Sony’s strategy.
Last year, Sony held a 36% share of the $387 million cloud gaming market, IHS Markit estimates. Cloud gaming will grow to $2.5 billion by 2023 – still less than 2% of the overall games market, the firm projects.
This new price for PS Now and added marquee games to the library will “ensure the service maintains its cloud gaming market leadership in 2019 and into 2020,” Harding-Rolls said. “This new pricing, content and marketing spend will increase this subscriber growth yet further and will ensure the service maintains its cloud gaming market leadership in 2019 and into 2020.”
Interested? The seven-day free trial remains an option.
Sony is reducing the price of its PlayStation Now subscription cloud video game service, which lets you stream and download games. (Photo: Sony PlayStation)
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