For North American users, the monthly price will be slashed to half the old cost going from $19.99 to $9.99 with comparable savings at the quarterly and annual tiers. The cut comes just a month before the launch of Google’s any-device, anywhere Stadia game streaming service. The new Playstation Now price matches the monthly price of Stadia exactly.
Now that these two services have the same price, how do they stack up?
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) October 2, 2019
The primary differences between the two have to do with device exclusivity and streaming versus downloading. PlayStation Now, as the name implies, is exclusive to the PlayStation 4 and PC platforms but works differently depending on which one is used. On PS4, subscribers have the choice of either streaming their Now games or downloading them. PC is streaming only. Since PlayStation Now has been plagued with latency problems from the beginning, the PS4 version is by far the superior investment because of the stability that downloading a game provides.
Stadia, on the other hand, is planned to be device agnostic. Potentially useable on anything that can run the app. At launch, though, stadia does require a Google device. Additionally, Stadia is streaming only and many games played must be purchased on top of the subscription fee. PlayStation Now does not charge per game fees. According to Google, Stadia will deliver 4K, 60 frames per second gaming via streaming to virtually any device. Given that Stadia has not been tested in action yet, it’s necessary to take Google’s word for it that it will work as advertised.
Only time can tell if price matching will be enough for Sony to hang on to its users in the face of competition from Stadia until the next round of consoles is released.
Stephen Krusel, known as Sven Kroosl to some, has played video and tabletop games since 1987 and has written about the gaming industry since 2008. He has yet to be convinced that Final Fantasy Tactics is not the pinnacle of gaming.