Sony has announced plans to offer a subscription-based approach to the PlayStation Now streaming service. The option to pay a flat rate for game rentals delivered over PlayStation Network will begin later this month.
Beginning on January 13, two plans will be offered. Monthly access will cost $ 19.99, with a three-month plan offered for a $ 44.99 (working out to about $ 15 per month).
Sony will offer a week-long trial once the program launches, with a limited time contest offering a chance at a year of access to the service. In order to enter, PlayStation 4 owners will need to download the free PlayStation Now theme.
PlayStation Now entered beta in mid-2014 with a full launch later in the year. Pricing has been a subject of discussion, as rental prices in some instances exceeded retail and, at times, digital purchase prices via the PlayStation Store.
Sony says that over 100 games are available via the service, including selections from EA, Deep Silver, Warner Bros., 2K Games, and more. PlayStation Now is available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation TV. Sony has also integrated the program in its smart televisions, with select Samsung sets to offer it this year. The subscription is only being offered on PlayStation 4 at launch.
[Source: PlayStation Blog]
A subscription option seems more economical than paying per rental, if there is enough in the library you want to play. As time goes on and Sony (hopefully) bolsters the offerings, the value of the subscription will increase.
As a point of comparison, Gamefly (arguably the most significant game rental service in the marketplace) charges $ 15.95 per month for one disc out at a time and $ 22.95 for two discs. Given the flexibility of changing which offerings you're playing on Sony's service, the pricing seems in-line with the market.