Last week a pretty substantial price hike hit the UK’s PlayStation Plus service, mirroring a similar increase that hit the service’s US customers last year.
Sony didn’t announce any changes to the service alongside the price change, but could bundling in a PlayStation Now subscription be an option for Sony to explore to make the service better value?
Price increases are, at a certain point, inevitable. Inflation slowly increases the price of doing business for a company, and at a certain point the prices they charge will need to go up to compensate for it.
But with PlayStation Plus’s features remaining exactly the same, the service looks like it’s about to offer much worse value for money come the end of August (when the price hike takes effect).
The solution: PlayStation Now?
Meanwhile, PlayStation Now has proved less and less of a focus for Sony over the years. After it was initially announced as a means to play PlayStation 3 games on the PS4, the service has since transitioned away from this backwards compatibility focus.
Instead the service now appears to be aimed at allowing non-PlayStation owners to play PlayStation games, as evidenced by the addition of PS4 games to the service.
Meanwhile Microsoft’s own backwards compatibility efforts have gone from strength to strength. Numerous Xbox 360 games have been made backwards compatible on the Xbox One, and at E3 the company announced that original Xbox games would be joining them.
Sony’s streaming solution is never going to match the quality of playing games locally (which the Xbox One allows), so why not treat the service like a PS Plus extra rather than a dedicated service?
Paying a monthly subscription to stream games is a tough sell when you own a console that can play games locally, but having it as a PS Plus extra would build goodwill, and might lead to people trying out PS4 games before purchasing them outright in order to play them locally.
However, much though we might like it to happen the chances of it actually doing so are slim. Sony would have announced it alongside the price increase if they had any intention of doing so.
So for now it looks like we’re just going to have to buckle up and deal with the price increase without getting any additional goodies.