PlayStation Now Rental Prices vs. Buying Full Games

We compare the lowest prices to buy several games and the amount of rental time those prices will get you.

With PlayStation Now, Sony has created an instant, on demand service for video games. It provides access to some of the PlayStation 3 catalog to PlayStation 4 and Sony TV owners, effectively giving the PS4 backwards compatibility. It's a service with hundreds of titles that you can jump into and play without having to wait for them to download.

Today, the service transitioned into open beta and we got a look at the collection of games offered. There's no subscription option for PS Now; each game is priced individually for several different rental periods. But we noticed that, for some games, it would be cheaper to buy the game used than to rent it through PS Now. To put the rental prices into context, we chose several notable games, found the lowest price to buy each game, and determined how much PS Now rental time that same amount of money will get you.

GameLowest Price to BuyHow Much Rental Time Will This Buy?
Killzone 3$4.99 used at GameStop

4 hours for $2.99

Dead Rising 2$7.69 used
at Amazon
7 days for $5.99
Metal Gear Solid 4$6.99 used at GameStop4 hours for $4.99
Catherine$13.82 used at Amazon30 days for $7.99
Darksiders II$15.35 used at Amazon30 days for $14.99
Zone of the Enders HD Collection$13.10 used at Amazon7 days for $9.99
Deus Ex: Human Revolution + DLC$6.82 used at Walmart
without DLC
4 hours for $4.99
Guacamelee! + DLC$14.99 download
on PS4 with extra story content
90 days for $14.99
F1 2013$39.99 new at Amazon30 days for $22.99 + 7 days for $11.99

Of course, Sony has stated that the service is still in beta and that these prices will change before its full release. In a recent interview with GameSpot, the company revealed that it would implement a $1.99 price point during the beta for an unspecified rental period. Also notable is that, even though Sony showed off The Last of Us running through PS Now, it was not available to rent at the time of this writing.

What do you think of PlayStation Now's current prices? Let us know in the comments!

Alex Newhouse is an editorial intern at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @alexbnewhouse
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Discussion

1097 comments
lancep2015
lancep2015

As an Hulu Plus user I wound love to see an one price unlited thing be an option.  

Elliander
Elliander

Not only would I *NOT* use this service, but I buy less games now because the games I already paid for on PSN cannot be brought over to the PS4 unless it was specifically designed for both consoles. If Sony has a record of the purchase and if Sony can verify this record, but decides instead to charge me a rental fee for a game I already own, why should I expect that future consoles will be any different? Furthermore, even if I was interested in renting a game, the fact that add ons are not allowed and the fact that it requires an always on connection suggests that the experiences won't be nearly as good as it is on the PS3. Latency, for example, will likely cause a great deal of frustration that I would rather do without, and of course the prices certainly are not worth it. If there was a buy option I would be tempted to use a rental feature to try before I buy, but only if there was like a 1 hour rental period.


That being said, if they had a service that would provide access to all games including add on content and also allowed save files to work in the event that we later decide to buy an individual game separately from a streaming service I would very likely try that. For example, if all games cost $14.99 for 90 days, how about 90 days of combined streaming access?  For all games? So playing any of them counts as rental time? That I would pay for.

BranKetra
BranKetra moderator moderator

Sony needs to fix PlayStation Now pricing to compete in any comparable way. $2.99 for four hours is bad.

megabig
megabig

Even though this may not be the final pricing just the thought of the pricing going this way is not something to entice me to try PS now.

Novemberfreeze
Novemberfreeze

I was REALLY hoping they would do a monthly payment thing. If they're going to rent the games in this kinda fashion, I think I'll just regret my decision to sell my PS3 for my PS4 and hold on to my money.

Arkhaz
Arkhaz

Should be free with Ads, rental like netflix (or by paying for hours, rather than games) and obviously include the option to buy and download games. Without the option to buy games, Not only will Greatness await forever, it won't be great at all but a Great scam.

soulless4now
soulless4now

It cost $15 to buy Guacamelee but you can rent it for the same price for only days? lol That makes no sense. Whoever decided on these prices needs to leave that rum alone. 

All_Star_Gamer1
All_Star_Gamer1

Yeah..... The more info I hear about this, the less appealing it sounds. I love Sony to death but all I see here is a money grab and a Blockbuster rebirth (minus the late fees for returning games, of course). I think I'll pass on this Playstation Now stuff.

runningman5ksmak
runningman5ksmak

the price for a 7 day rental for game is good  here in Canada it was like $10 for a 7 day game renal so there $6.99 $7.99 prices are really good on Playstation now

reliccastle
reliccastle

Im sorry,but I totally misunderstood what Playstation Now was all about....along with the ability to rental...I THOUGHT YOU COULD AND WOULD BE ABLE TO BUY THE FULL RETAIL PRICE OF THE GAMES ALONG WITH THE ADD-ON CONTENT.....I WILL NEVER BUY RENTAL GAMES...I WOULD ONLY BUY FULL RETAIL PRICE GAMES...THANK GOODNESS I KEPT MY PS3....after reading the disclosure of the service it said the games would be lower resolution,no add-ons,no buying full retail price with add-on etc etc etc....THIS SERVICE SUCKS....IF YOU CANT BUY DOWNLOADABLE AT FULL RETAIL AND KEEP THE GAMES ON THE HARD DRIVE THEN WHATS THE POINT????

count_polygon
count_polygon

Complete ripoff, it's difficult to believe this hairbrained idea of trying to stream these games and on top of that make you pay in a rental capacity was greenlighted. Sony has made a huge misstep and missed a great opportunity. Just make the damn thing backwards compatible and/or add emulation capability via software update, blu-ray is blu-ray. This whole campaign is a farce and insult to the gaming community.

pkg
pkg

I tried renting a game for $4.99 for 4 hours which is crazy. It did the speed test avid said that my network was fine. The game started bad in the first 30 seconds, the screen got blocky, then it quit saying that my network speed wasn't fast enough. I tried several more times with the same result. After 4 hours my rental was over and I didn't even get to play. It should be 4 hours of clocked play, not 4 hours by the clock. They have a long way to make this a better choice than gamefly or buying.

rahl247
rahl247

ign says weekly rentals worth 5 a week i can deal with that. i thoink they need to do what gamefly does 20 bucks a month for 1 rental turn it in get another.

frostbyte57
frostbyte57

Why can't we also buy the full games instead of only renting or subscribing for them? Sony are you even thinking or is that a problem too?

Bubble_Man
Bubble_Man

And this is why collecting physical game media is a good idea.

notorious98
notorious98

It's overpriced.  They need to implement the Netflix-like monthly subscription service.

squall_83
squall_83

This bullshit can't possibly last long.


joelieg
joelieg

So stupid you should be able to buy the games instead of just being able to rent them who wants to rent crazy taxi for $2.99 for only four hours what a waste.

shredbot9000
shredbot9000

Yup. Well played Gamespot! I think that we should at least be able to purchase the full games or have them carry over if they were previously purchased as a digital copy on PS3!

jellyman68
jellyman68

Initially I thought this was a really bad idea, but I think it seems to be another feature aimed at people who never owned a PS3. I bought a PS4 but have never even used a PS3, and there are maybe two or three games on the PS3 that I wish I could play (Metal Gear Solid and Uncharted mainly.) If I wanted to play them now I'd have to buy a PS3 and a copy of each game, which would cost me around £200. Or I could use this service and spend £20 or £30.

coolguyhero
coolguyhero

They should increase the price of ps plus & include ps now in that.it will be a good deal

es496
es496

Silly prices. Also unfortunate since PlayStation Now in general is a good idea. When people move over to PS4 older games on PS3 won't be forgotten since everyone on PS4 can play them now if they want to. The one big thing holding video games back is that consoles don't take advantage of all the classic games they have out there from previous consoles.

varmintx
varmintx

Though I still think the prices are stupid, people don't seem to be factoring in the cost of buying a PS3 for those who don't have one to actually buy those used games and play them on.

bizzy-sgs
bizzy-sgs

I don't understand why people are complaining.If you can get it for 0.99 cents at gamestop then go get it and play it on your ps3.Stop complaining. Nobody is forcing you to use this service.The only reason those games are so cheap is because they are leftover stock that nobody bought and they have to get rid of them.Plus,when you buy those games for $5 you are actually not supporting the developers that made them.You might as well pirate them because you're not contributing either way.

TashunkoSapa
TashunkoSapa

Sony: "4 hours for $5" is greater value than EA's "1 month for $5". 

Buck_Swaggler
Buck_Swaggler

Its amazing how easy it is to ruin a good idea

koospetoors
koospetoors

No thank you, still and always will buy physical (and digital granted I can backup on a drive) copies of my game because, you know, I can actually play them 10 or 20 years down the line if my console still works and the disc is fine. Unlike this streaming bull which essentially renders your library useless and all that money spent for nothing when they kill it for the next console or so.

rickphoenixxx
rickphoenixxx

Who needs backwards compatibility, am I right? Pretty sure no one owns a ps3 with a huge library of games already.

deadline-zero0
deadline-zero0

Wait. Why is there an option to rent the PS3 version of Guacamelee, but we can't do that with the STC edition PS4 version?


Most of the games seem to be "lower budget" games, like Megaman 9 and 10 (i love megaman, btw), and indies, 2D, etc. Why don't you just give an option to rent your current PS4+ titles like Resogun?

rafpac
rafpac

This whole renting concept is destined for failure. They should instead sell you PS now games, along with a subscription for a cloud space to keep you virtual games. Something like you get 500GB of space for $100 a year or $250GB for $60 a year. Then you buy the games for as low as $10 for generic games upto $30 for mainstream titles. Now that would be more feasible for the everyday consumer.

megabig
megabig

@Novemberfreeze Yes it doesn't make sense that you are paying for time in the since of hours and days. When you think about this. It is almost like we are going back in time to the days of blockbuster and hollywood videos. With playstation now, Sony will definitely make their money back and more.

rahl247
rahl247

@jellyman68 um buy a ps3 at 150 and get the games 5-20 dollars on ebay of used stores or bargain prices.

rahl247
rahl247

@varmintx ps3 cost 150 used at gamestop. your going to end up paying that in few moths with this model

jsprogg
jsprogg

@varmintx i don't think that is part of the equation since you have to also buy some device to play PSnow also, i suppose when its available on TV's that would negate that though.

Eventually this service is supposed to be available to Xbox users also although i can't see that ever happening ....lol

pc_guru003
pc_guru003

@bizzy-sgs So by your logic when I buy a used car, I  might as well just steal one because I'm not supporting the company that made that car. I guess i was partially to blame for GM's near downfall. I can't understand how people have this view on things.

kujel
kujel

@koospetoors This is precisely why I will never release any of the games I develop on any streaming services ever.

simsumre
simsumre

@rafpac Renting games could work, publishers are just too greedy to do it right. I can rent a new release dvd on demand for 1/4 the price of buying it and it goes away in 2 days. No reason why this can't be done with games. But you have an industry that hates rentals and hates used games.

reanor2
reanor2

And that is cheaper than £25?

kujel
kujel

@simsumre @rafpac Our industry hates used sales cause games are already too damn expensive to make with all the cinematics added to afford losing sales. Used game sales wouldn't be so bad if GameStop didn't push used so hard and if this obsession with cinematics ended and we got back to gameplay.

count_polygon
count_polygon

@reanor2 For a PS3 and say, 10 games? Yes. And you have resale value after you're done playing if you want. PS Now is a joke at the gamers' expense.

rahl247
rahl247

@kujel @simsumre @rafpac they push for used cause they give the seller 5 -25 dollars a game then they trun around and sell them 10-55. they have a higher profit margin selling you a used game then new

reanor2
reanor2

He was referring that he is only interested about 2 games on PS3. That's why 25£ is more convenient then buying the whole console then the games then try to resell them. He is right, renting in that specific case when you are only interested in trying couple of games is very convenient.

count_polygon
count_polygon

@reanor2 Yeah I get it, but it's sort of missing the point/user story. It'd be just as convenient to be able to just buy those games at a reasonable price and be able to play them on the PS4. PS Now doesn't even run that well either, it's just a bad idea wrapped up in a bad experience. I also am willing to bet that there are far more than 2 games for PS3 that he'd want in the long run. Each to their own I guess!