Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) has announced that it is slashing the cost of a PlayStation Now subscription from £84.99 a year to £49.99 as competition heats up in the cloud-powered game streaming market.
Launched back in 2014 and powered by the Gaikai technology Sony acquired in 2012, PlayStation Now is an all-you-can-eat Netflix-style game streaming service. Subscribers load the PlayStation Now application, browse through a list of games - including titles that would otherwise be unavailable on their platform, such as PlayStation 3 games that will only run on the system's esoteric Cell Broadband Engine processors - and take their pick; the game is then executed in a remote data centre and the resulting video streamed across the network.
With Microsoft's rival Project xCloud entering beta and Google's Stadia launching in November, Sony appears to be feeling the pressure: The company has announced that it is slashing the price of a PlayStation Now subscription worldwide, cutting £35 from the UK annual subscription pricing (inc. VAT.)
'PlayStation Now is the first and only console game subscription service that uses cloud technology to deliver an unprecedented breadth of games through streaming and downloading,' boasts Sony vice-president for PlayStation Network Grace Chen. 'Today, I am truly pleased to announce new updates to the service that take our subscription gaming efforts to the next level. Starting today, PS Now will be offered at a more compelling price that is comparable to other entertainment streaming services on the market. Current customers will see this new pricing reflected in their next billing cycle.'
The new UK pricing sets a subscription at £8.99 a month, £22.99 quarterly - previously not a payment schedule available in the country - or £49.99 annually, down from £12.99 monthly or £84.99 annually (all inc. VAT.) The announcement also comes alongside the promise of additional content, though only for a limited period: From this month through to early January 2020, players will be able to stream God of War, Grand Theft Auto V, inFamous: Second Son, and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. Each month, new 'marquee content' will be added while older titles are removed, Chen has confirmed.
'We’ve been in the cloud gaming business since 2014, and we have had many key learnings along the way to ensure we deliver a service that meets the needs of gamers,' Chen claims. 'We want to thank all of you in the PlayStation family for being on this journey with us, and together, we are excited to push cloud gaming forward as the world of gaming continues to evolve.'
July 1 2020 | 17:34