‘PS Now has a very interesting place in the industry.’
Sony has bet big on streaming, with Playstation Now letting you stream top PlayStation 3 games to your PlayStation devices, Sony TVs, smartphones, and even non Sony branded devices in the future. It also serves as a substitute for backwards compatibility on the PS4, which otherwise has none, and in general, has been pushed as a big deal by Sony, even though most of their target audience has expressed disinterest in any form of streaming solution.
But Sony thinks PS Now is important, and that it will only become more so in the future.
“In the games industry, we’ve been very focused on the first few months after a game is released,” Sony’s Jack Buser, who told A List Daily. “Unlike our friends in the movie and music industries, there wasn’t as much of a long tail for the game industry. I think PlayStation Now has an extremely interesting role to play as the lifecycle of the game industry matures.”
“This gives publishers the chance to rejuvenate the ability of a title to generate revenue,” he added. “When we release a title into the subscription, we create quite a bit of buzz around a title that may not have been advertised for a year or two, even three years in some cases. Now because it’s coming into the subscription, gamers are talking about the title, they’re curious about the title, and it’s like this breath of fresh air into a franchise or even an individual title that previously was very difficult to do in this industry.”
Buserr also talked about the reception to PS Now, which he says has been positive, especially ever since Sony introduced the monthly subscription option.
“Year over year, we’ve seen a 300 percent increase in PS Now users,” he said. “This is largely due to the subscription being so compelling. If you look at usage per week, average usage is going to be about four hours, which is a very high engagement metric. If you look at it per session, we’re looking at about 45 minutes a session, and for popular games over an hour.”
“You can see that people are coming in, playing for very long sessions, and then they’re playing multiple sessions per week to get to that very high average per week of four hours,” he added. “That’s where that new user experience becomes so important, because when you have such a large growth in your user base and they are so engaged in not just one but several games, it’s important to give them a rich user interface to help them more easily transition to other games they might not have otherwise checked out.”
Personally, I am not sold on PS Now, and I don’t see who it is targeted at- I also think that a regular digital store online, or a service like EA Access, would have the same benefits as Sony believes PS Now will, but without the reliance on streaming.
But hey, it’s working for them. They must be doing something right.