If anything's more outdated than a physical video game disc, it's a video game rental. But a new effort from Sony might just change that.
Starting Jan. 13, PlayStation 4 owners will be able to pay for a monthly subscription service that will allow them to stream video games to their system via a high-speed Internet connection. Subscriptions can be purchased starting at $19.99 for one month or $44.99 for three months.
The subscription plans are an overhaul to the existing "PlayStation Now" service, which allows PlayStation owners to rent games on an individual basis for varying lengths of time. "Final Fantasy XIII," for example, is available to rent on a PlayStation 4 for $2.99 per 4-hour chunk, though individuals can also opt for a 7-day rental for $5.99, a 30-day rental for $7.99, or 90 days for $14.99.
The new system will streamline the somewhat befuddling price structure and allow customers to enjoy unlimited gaming within their subscription period.
A look at the PlayStation Now menu. (Source)
Over 100 games will be available when the subscription service launches next week, including popular and acclaimed titles like "Batman: Arkham City," "The Last Of Us" and "Bioshock Infinite." None of them are new, though: They're games that were first available on the PlayStation 3 system. The PlayStation 4 offers no other way to play these games, meaning gamers otherwise would have to plunk down the cash on an outdated system to enjoy them.
Peter Jamshidi, director of marketing for PlayStation Now, wrote in a blog post that the subscription service will launch first on the PS4 but will eventually come to other PlayStation Now-compatible devices, like the handheld PlayStation Vita, certain Sony televisions and the PlayStation TV.
Sony recently announced that the PlayStation 4 system had attained over 18.5 million sales worldwide since its November 2013 launch -- meaning plenty of potential customers for the new service. According to Jamshidi, those customers will be able to sample the service via a 7-day free trial when it launches Tuesday.