Everyone by now knows about Playstation Now, and if you don’t, here is a quick summary. Essentially the grand idea behind it is to compete against GameFly and other video games rental companies by allowing you to stream video games on your PS4. The concept is something everyone can get behind, but when the prices were announced people started thinking twice. That included me until I actually signed on to look at the prices. I was surprised by how appealing many of the deals were, and I decided someone needed to defend Playstation Now. Seeing how I am a pro at dodging tomatoes and ignoring the trolls that live in the comment section, I am stepping up to the plate.

The entire point of Playstation Now is to allow you to experience games that you were previously unable to. For example: when my friend purchased his PS4 he traded in his PS3. He lost his entire library of PS3 games. Playstation Now looks like the perfect opportunity for him. Everyone remember those PS2 games that you love but never play anymore? Do people even have TVs that can use the R/G/Y cables anymore? What about all of those games? Playstation Now is the answer once again (theoretically). Everyone knows that, but that isn’t the problem with it. The problem is currently how much everything costs, and I’m here to say things aren’t that expensive…kind of.

playstation now menui

Yes, there are certainly games that you would never dream of wasting money on in this format. Take Final Fantasy XIII-2 for example. Who in their right mind would pay $4.99 to play 4 hours of that game? No one. And why would you pay $29.99 to rent the game for 90 days? You wouldn’t. No one would do that, especially when you can find it somewhere for only $20. If you only look at those games for those price, then Playstation Now looks awful, and I would agree. So why am I defending it?

Let’s take the same game: Final Fantasy XIII-2. Reading those prices below makes it seem like you would be insane to rent that game and I would tell you, “Yes, you are.” Who rents a JRPG? Would you walk into a Block Buster (if they still exist somewhere) and pay ten bucks to rent Final Fantasy for five days? You probably wouldn’t. You don’t rent long games. You buy them, and if you don’t want to pay full-price, you wait to find a discount. Any real gamer knows that renting a long game is just wasting money. You will either feel too rushed to really enjoy it or never finish it in time.

That is the same premise for Playstation Now. Yes, you will probably not rent Final Fantasy XIII-2 for those prices, and there are other games that have absurd prices as well. This is the beta and there is a chance those prices will change. While I do foresee some prices changes, I don’t think there will be a complete overhaul in the system. I think Sony is going to keep the prices relatively the same, and I don’t think that will be the end of the world.

playstation now final fantasy

The best way to head into Playstation Now is thinking of it like any renting service. It is good for old games, games that you want to experience again, and games that aren’t hundreds of hours long. Take Lost Planet 2 for instance. I recently played Lost Planet 3, and if I wanted to experience Lost Planet 2 again, it’s only $7.99 to have it for 90 days. You could probably find it cheaper somewhere, but this is much easier than searching for it and I won’t even need 90 days to really experience that game. That’s overkill. The campaign is only a few hours so maybe I’ll only pay $3.99 to get it for a week? Much more plausible now.

What about Enslaved: Odyssey to the West? I loved that game and I think it is one of the most underrated games of the last generation. I don’t own that game and if I wanted to play it again I could stream it from Playstation Now for only $5.99 for 7 days. I will need a couple days at most to beat that game and then I probably won’t touch it for years—if ever again. I would be more than happy to pay $5.99 to experience a game I love, knowing there will be no long-term value in it. I am sure I can find that game somewhere selling for $5, but I don’t need to own it, I only want to play it once to satisfy my craving.

Here’s another example that I know Playstation Now will be extremely helpful. I have a friend visiting from out of town and he loves fighting games. I don’t own any fighting games. Since there are no places to rent games around me and I don’t subscribe to GameFly looks like we won’t be able to trade punches. With Playstation Now I can pay $2.99 for Dead or Alive 5 for 4 hours. That not enough? $5.99 for 7 days will certainly cover it. That really isn’t that expensive when I don’t want to own the game, but still entertain my friend for a night.

playstation now dead or alive

Playstation Now is pretty handy in that regard, especially if it is a last minute thing. Remember impulse-buys? Of course you do, that’s what Steam sales bank off of. I believe Playstation Now will take full advantage of that mentality. Why do people pay $5 for a movie on demand when the same movie is at RedBox for $1? It’s easier. I am a huge last minute, impulse-buy, I’m-bored-and-need-something-to-do-for-an-hour kind of guy. I can easily see myself dumping untold sums of money to keep myself busy for a few hours or over the weekend.

I will not argue that some games on Playstation Now are insanely overpriced. I don’t think anyone is going to pay $20 for Grid 2 to only have it for 90 days. But that isn’t the way to look at Playstation Now, because it isn’t Gamefly or Netflix. I certainly won’t argue that a monthly subscription would probably be better, and there are games that aren’t good for renting. However, there are uses for this streaming system, and seeing how this is the early beta, I am interested in seeing where it will go. It can definitely be better, but right now I can already see some great uses for it. Now I just need the library to offer more games and then Sony will really get my money.

About The Author

Neil has had a passion for video games ever since the Atari entered his life so many years ago. He's been writing about them for over two years and sees no end in sight. Reach out to him on twitter @nconnors13

  • freekface

    It’s a rip off plain and simple.
    You may as well buy a 2nd hand console and buy the games pre-owned it will save you a fortune over this an to top it all