By now, you may have heard Sony’s latest announcement. Or, maybe not. I mean, it did have to do with PlayStation Now, one of its least hyped services, so this may come as a surprise. PlayStation Now is only going to be available on the PlayStation 4 and PC as of August 15, 2017. Support is being cut off for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Sony Bravia TVs, Samsung TVs, and Sony Blu-ray players. So now when you pay $20-$100 for a month or year’s worth of service, you’re going to have a much more restricted experience. This, of course, makes no sense. Sony should not be cutting off its own console and handheld from game streaming.
Now, I can understand pulling the rug out from under the people who own Sony Bravias, Sony Blu-ray players, and Samsung TVs that supported PlayStation Now. There’s a good chance people didn’t even know their devices were compatible with the service or use it. But with the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, people know. We see icons for it. Sony promoted it. We have everything we need to stream and play these PlayStation 3 games within these two Sony systems.
I mean, the PlayStation Vita is still an active system. If only the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation TV were on the chopping block, this decision might make sense. Persona 5 is going to be the last game for the console when it makes its April debut. And we know the microconsole was practically dead on arrival. The PlayStation Vita is still thriving, though! There are over 15 games scheduled to appear on the handheld this year, and that’s not even counting other announcements that’ll be made throughout the year.
But then, even if this was about interest, the move to dismiss PlayStation Now from the PlayStation 3 and Vita doesn’t make sense. After all, it isn’t like Sony’s cutting off PlayStation Plus support to the PlayStation 3 or Vita. (Oh please, Sony, don’t cut off my Vita PlayStation Plus support.) At least two games are arriving on each system every month. They’re often cross-buy, so PlayStation 4 owners can get them too. If the company is willing to make that effort for these two devices, why not keep doing so for PlayStation Now? It makes no sense to cut them off from one subscription, but not the other.
There’s upkeep to running a streaming service, sure. Sony surely needs to keep investing into making PlayStation Now work on each platform. Taking away the Blu-ray and TV compatibility is understandable. But, it doesn’t make sense to remove it from their own platforms. Especially when they’re otherwise active and still supported. It feels like it’s kicking systems like the PlayStation 3 and Vita while they’re down, and neither deserve that.
It just feels like Sony is making counterintuitive decisions when it comes to PlayStation Now. The $20 one month, $45 three month, and $100 yearly subscription fees are astronomical. There’s no connection to PlayStation Plus, where members could get a few free rentals a month or something similar. The only place you ever hear about it is on the PlayStation Blog. Instead of cutting back, Sony should be doing more to spread awareness and make the service more desirable and affordable.