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Kyle Orland: PlayStation Now is still suffering from the branding and baggage leftover from its streaming-focused launch

Nitro

Member
Nov 2, 2017
266
Kyle Orland stumbles out of the starting gate.
Today, every major gaming company and its subsidiary cousin is aiming to be the "Netflix of games" in some form or another. Xbox Game Pass, Apple Arcade, Google Play Pass, Ubisoft's UPlay+, EA Access, and even Nintendo's Switch Online all bundle together access to dozens or hundreds of games for one low monthly fee. And then there's PlayStation Now.
Sony's service started offering monthly subscription game bundles back in the beginning of 2015, long before most of the competition. But a mix of confused marketing and limited access to Sony's own first-party catalog has left the service to languish with just one million subscribers (compared to a reported 9.5 million monthly subscribers for Xbox Game Pass).

[Update: Replaced outdated 700,000 subscriber number for PS Now from May]
His numbers for Game Pass are dubious, his central premise (that Sony need to start offering blockbuster games, including AAA narative-driven single-player games, on day 1) ignores the negative consequences that might bring, including restricting their ability to make those type of games in the future, has been discussed to death, and his gloomy conclusion feels premature given the recent rise in subscription numbers, which he didn't appear to know about until someone pointed it out to him in the comment section.

But he does touch on one aspect that might warrant additional discussion.
PlayStation Now isn't exclusively a streaming service anymore. A subscription now also includes access to downloadable versions of over 300 PS4 and PS2 games. [...] That last feature was rolled out just over a year ago and seems like a pretty important addition for the significant segment of the audience that might be worried about streaming gaming's potential latency and quality issues. By and large, though, PlayStation Now's partial pivot to downloads doesn't seem to have filtered down to the intended audience.
Last month, an informal poll of my Twitter followers found 54% of respondents (who all said they had heard of PlayStation Now) still didn't know the service also offered downloads. That's not a scientific result, of course, but it suggests a large part of the potential audience still sees PlayStation Now primarily as an expensive streaming service for legacy PlayStation titles, as it was when it launched.
Source
Thread backfire? I see the intention was to attack the article but yeah we have people in this very thread not knowing it offered downloads
That's an interesting mindset you have. I pointed out the glaring errors first in the hope of getting over them. If I had not done that, this thread would have gone downhill fast with repeat responses calling attention to the same obvious errors as a means to discredit everything else that is written. There are worthy points for discussion in the article. Let's discuss those.
 
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Zalman

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,318
He's right. A lot of people who are usually in the know still don't realize this. It totally needs a rebranding.
 

LordofPwn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,712
i fully expect it to be front and center for the launch of PS5, in the meantime idk why they would spend marketing money on it right now when PS5 is still a year out.

EDIT: like imagine if PS5 is backwards compatible with PS3 and PS4 games. Now all of a sudden all PS Now games can be downloaded or streamed to PS5 and that's a lot easier to get across than "*some games on PS4"
 

StoveOven

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
1,015
I only learned that they did downloads like a week ago. Going into next gen, they should probably drop the Now branding if they want to really compete in the subscription space. There's just too much baggage with that name.
 

Bundy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,571
"9.5 million monthly subscribers for Xbox Game Pass" lol. As Arstechnica and Kyle Orland would say: Don’t read too much into those numbers". Because they're clearly wrong.
 

JDSpades

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,069
There’s no reason games like Uncharted and God of War shouldn’t be on there permanently.

putting first party games on PS Now, but removing them after three months is so stupid it deserves to fail.
 

Goldenroad

Member
Nov 2, 2017
3,540
Sony is saving the big push for PS5. If every PS5 comes with one month of PS Now that has to be registered with a credit card and automatic payments have to be manually halted, there are going to be A LOT of people who sign up day one and never cancel. Microsoft has had some amazing deals for signing up for GP ($1/month deals), which, if Sony were to offer right now, they would probably see a HUGE influx of subscribers. I agree that it is tied to some baggage associated with how it launched, but a new console launch is the perfect time to strip away that baggage. Imagine if, at the launch of PS5, EVERY major PS4 exclusive was included on PS Now and playable with PS5 enhancements, and that first month is free. I think the will do very well with their service next gen.
 

Proven

Member
Oct 29, 2017
3,389
Sony has their big toe dipped in the waters of subscription services and the only reason they have their big toe dipped is because of Game Pass. I don’t think they’d have dropped the price or added god of war if it weren’t for GP.
 
OP
OP

Nitro

Member
Nov 2, 2017
266
Falling far behind with streaming, Sony really needs to step up or it’s going to shut down like PSvue
He's right. A lot of people who are usually in the know still don't realize this. It totally needs a rebranding.
I’m starting to doubt this with their recent comments, it doesn’t sound like they are serious about ever offering more first party games on PSnow
You handing out non sequiturs like candy.
 

RecRoulette

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,381
I wonder if they're gonna wait for PS5 to launch to try and rebrand it. Like a lot of folks I had no idea that you could download games until like a couple of months ago
 

TheGhost

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,659
Long Island
Thread backfire?
I see the intention was to attack the article but yeah we have people in this very thread not knowing it offered downloads for certain titles because of the bad rep it's launch got (and it's awful price)

Needs a new name and about 15 minutes of discussion dedicated to it next E3 /ps5 announcement day.
 

c0de

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,948
PS NOW is still not available in a lot of countries.
Yeah, that's especially stupid as the streaming part will have to get improved to compete with stadia, for example. Downloads are available globally anyway so there is no real necessity to lock out countries for what most people is more important anyways, meaning having a cheap access to PS4 games.
 

monketron

Member
Oct 27, 2017
621
Sony make ungodly amounts of money from selling first party games and I'm sure they want it to stay that way. But they need to make sure they cover themselves in case Game pass / streaming does take off in a big way and starts eating into their player base. Unfortunately this half-way committing but not really committing strategy means PS Now is probably dead in the water. It was a hell of a lot easier for Microsoft to fully commit to Game pass given they had little to lose outside of Halo and Forza.
 

Raijinto

Member
Oct 28, 2017
7,949
Yeah I used the free trial way back when in like 2015 and was not really impressed and even now that it's been genuinely improved overall I struggle to completely detach it from that miserable time when it was a streaming service for (mostly) old games that was asking for waaay more money than it was worth. I'm surprised that they haven't rebranded it.
 

Finaj

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,266
I've never thought about this but if you can download PS2 games on PS4 through PS Now, doesn't that mean the PS4 is backward compatible with PS2 games? Or does it work differently than, say, downloading Xbox or Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One?

And can you download PS2 games outside of PS Now?
 

Prine

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,296
He's right about suffering from confusion and baggage. But since GP it looks like Sony are taking PSNow seriously and it's hard to argue against that. MS have deep pockets, but Sony have great SP games so next gen they can work that somehow with their service.
 

Zombegoast

Member
Oct 30, 2017
4,786
If it weren't for the touchpad, this would be easily be the best game subscription service on PC.

I beat Bloodborne 3 times thanks to Ps Now. Now if it only included the DLC and more first party titles
 

fiendcode

Member
Oct 26, 2017
11,988
If Sony really wants to lead they should just merge Plus and Now. One subscription that can support PS4/PS5 downloads and streaming, pays for online, cloud, discounts, services, etc. Even if more expensive the simplification will make more sense to consumers and draw a clear distinction versus Microsoft's messy 3 plan approach (Live Gold, Game Pass, XCloud).
 

Rosol

Member
Oct 29, 2017
304
I think it doesn't have many fans in the Sony camp to push it along because if you've had plus, or already bought the good games during PS4's years you already have a big chunk of the games they provide and there's little value to offer for them - it's a good value for newcomers though.
 
Oct 28, 2017
8,237
PS Now is a big reason it's important for Sony to have full PS1-PS4 backwards compatability for PS5. It'll open up the library to people that don't want to stream massively.

With that said I'm 100% on board with the streaming future and streaming is the reason I'm subbed to PS Now. I was sold on game streaming so hard the minute I streamed a game in the PS Now beta way back.
 

ianpm31

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,407
If Sony really wants to lead they should just merge Plus and Now. One subscription that can support PS4/PS5 downloads and streaming, pays for online, cloud, discounts, services, etc. Even if more expensive the simplification will make more sense to consumers and draw a clear distinction versus Microsoft's messy 3 plan approach (Live Gold, Game Pass, XCloud).
Or put their first party day and date. But they sell 10-15+ million so theres no need. I hope for PS1 titles next gen though