PlayStation Now Has Little Merit As A Standalone Service – Wedbush Morgan

Analysts believe lack of content/enthusiasm from third parties will stifle the service.

Posted By | On 12th, Feb. 2014 Under News

PlayStation Now

As part of its most recent financial report, Wedbush Morgan discussed the overall possibility of success for Sony’s upcoming PlayStation Now – a Cloud-based streaming service that will allow one to (currently) stream PS3 games to their PS4. Analysts Michael Pachter, Nick McKay and Nick Citrin feel that as it stands, the service won’t have any substantial impact once it releases if it doesn’t have compelling content.

Wedbush also talks about server-based gaming services were the big thing ten years ago with the likes of OnLive but failed to ultimately succeed with consumers. While the analysts believe that compelling content will ultimately decide the success of PlayStation Now – even stating that there is a future for server-based gaming – they believe it unlikely that Sony will attract third party titles that are less than two years old.

Pachter first stated this on the Bonus Round episode for GT, emphasizing how the traditional publishing model will prove more lucrative for third party publishers than offering their titles on PS Now would – unless Sony had a significantly high subscription fee.

“We believe that publishers will seek 70% of PlayStation Now revenues, similar to the iTunes pricing model, and we think that publishers will have little interest in ‘renting’ a $20 game for anything less than $8 – 10. Thus, we think that the pricing of pay-as-you-go rental will be prohibitive, or in the alternative, the quality of the content available on a pay-as-you-go basis will be poor.

“While we think PlayStation Now has little merit as a standalone service, we think that it is destined to end up part of an expanded service offering. Sony’s purchase of Gaikai suggests to us that the company intends to integrate streaming games into its other entertainment service offerings, such as music subscriptions and pay-as-you-go movie video on demand. We think that Sony may succeed in bundling PlayStation Now with these other entertainment offerings in the future, but we remain pessimistic that the service can succeed as a standalone game service.”

Currently, PS Now is in beta testing and will go live this Summer. Do you agree with Wedbush’s predictions and analysis? Let us know in the comments.

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  • UsherSucks

    Totally agree. I don’t understand why someone would pay a monthly fee to play old ps3 games. Now that next gen systems are out the current gen games are going to drop in price even faster so if you can snag a copy of a 2 yr old physical ps3 game for $20 why would you pay $15 a month to stream it?

    This doesn’t even mention the download speed/lag potential problems or data overages that internet service providers are so happily charging.

    • MrZweistein

      I agree with you. In addition, seeing the difficulties PSN already went through since PS4 launch I have my doubts the service will have the required performance to fulfill on the promise.

    • JimmyNice

      PSN servers are not Gaikai servers.

    • MrZweistein

      Right. But Gaikai is a much more sophisticated service that has to be delivered. If Sony already have problems with the QoS of the normal non-sophisticated service how do you think the result for PS Now is look like?

  • Gamez Rule

    “Analysts Michael Pachter, Nick McKay and Nick Citrin feel that as it stands, the service won’t have any substantial impact once it releases if it doesn’t have compelling content”… (( we remain pessimistic that the service can succeed as a standalone game service ))

    So ok, that’s their opinion but I totally disagree. PS: ( Sony never said that PS-Now will be a standalone game service either )

    How can they say PS-Now won’t have a substantial impact? They don’t know what content is coming apart from what Sony stated. People said the same thing about PlayStation Network ( and that now has more members than XBL and Steam ). Then when PS+ was mentioned that too had the same treatment ( and look at it now ) it’s on the rise as we type, even when people today slag it off☺

    I believe PS-Now will be a massive hit IF the price is right. And as for being pessimistic about succeeding as a standalone game service people said the same thing about Lovefilm and Netflix with movies lol. I think PS-Now will do better than what people think, and could be the start of something new. One place for all content = a win for Sony

  • JimmyNice

    the key phrase here is “If it doesn’t have compelling content” I don’t think Sony paid 380 million dollars for Gaikai so they could put 30 games on it. They absolutely will make it a compelling offer.

    There are 150 Sony owned games on PS3 and over 500 Sony owned games on PS2, PS1 & Vita and 10’s of thousands of 3rd party games that they WILL make offers to publishers to get those games on Playstation Now. Who cares if the games are older (except for the Sony owned ones). Have you played all the awesome games that came out this generation… I know I haven’t… and suddenly I have all of them available for less than the cost of picking up a couple bargain bin games (or cheap digital downloads) a month. What’s NOT compelling about that.

    I mean look at netflix… all older, independant and unknown films. Tv series and their own content. They see that model and invested heavily to recreate a game version of this kind of model.

    For those that are belittling the likelihood of it working… AGAIN they wouldn’t have invested in it if it didn’t work. Can you stream HD Netflix? Well if you can, you can stream PS Now at it’s recommended level (see here both are 5 Megabits per second).

    Hey, maybe they’ll muck it up… over charge for it or come out with no content… but there is a long term vision here… one that is years in the making much like the plans they had years ago with the things they had to fix on PS4 over PS3.

    Personally I’m excited to see what we get.

  • Sunnycyde

    While I like my PS4, I think PS Now is going to flop or at best be a niche service. Maybe years down the line it will be great but right now….no way.

  • Virdin Barzey

    I agree if Sony is making PSNow just about games. If that is the case it will fail just like Playstation Home. Yes, there are still people who go on there but it was an utter failure to what they wanted it to become.

    The only way PSNow works is movie and dvd content. In that case, they will be competing against Netflix which is a tall order. Bundling it with games may be the only way but even that is slim since that will make the price higher than Netflix and access to games many of those interested probably already have played.

    I personally think BC is overrated and that Sony putting movies across all those formats make sense with content they have the rights to. For previous games on PS1, PS2, PS3, I really don’t see how this makes sense as well. I wait to be pleasantly surprised by Sony.

  • revlux

    It’s virtually impossible to speculate with any real degree of accuracy on whether Playstation Now will succeed or fail. There simply is not enough information out about the service. I own and love all the consoles and thing it is a very interesting idea that shows promise but could easily go either way.

    If I can eventually play many, if not all, of the amazing Playstation 1,2 & 3 titles for a reasonable monthly fee then I will subscribe. Especially if they can make them wide screen with trophy support. (They’ve already patented the tech. to auto-add trophy support to virtually any old game so that seems rather likely.) We’ll just have to wait and see though.


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