By CODY STEEVES
On-demand is in high demand whether it is for movies, music or games.
The latest announcement is a service being offered by Sony titled PlayStation Now (PS Now), which targets video game consoles. This new on-demand service will allow users to use a Netflix-like service for video games, whether it be a monthly subscription or pay-per-rent.
The trend of on-demand certainly makes it more convenient for consumers as they no longer have to visit stores to purchase products.
However, this does affect the many stores that try to offer a physical version of this service. Blockbuster was one of the major retailers of DVD and game rentals that saw its doors close due to lack of demand, as did Jumbo Video, which was once located on Highland in Waterloo.
PS Now could possibly encroach on other retailers as well. Gamestop Canada, a major retailer in popular video games, has already suffered a nine per cent stock depreciation since the on-demand service’s announcement.
“PS Now is a major threat to us,” said a Gamestop employee who wished to remain anonymous. “We make our sales off of used games. If you can just stream those games from home for a small fee, we really don’t stand a chance in that market.”
The service won’t be exclusive to the PlayStation 4, Sony’s newest generation of video game consoles. Sony first showed off PS Now at the Consumer Electronics Show 2014, where a spokesperson said it will be released for Sony’s smart TVs, smartphones and tablets.
The only major flaw that some potential consumers are worried about is the required bandwidth which is currently speculated to be 5mb/s to stream efficiently.
It was also announced that any generation of PlayStation game will be able to be purchased or rented and played on any of the supported devices. There will no longer be a need for hoarding outdated consoles, rather, they are pushing to make it more efficient for users.
Internet forum, Reddit, has had many active discussions regarding PS Now. Many users are voicing their concerns and their hopes with the upcoming service. “I am quite pleased to see that Sony is really working on getting the ball rolling quickly with this,” said user MurphyRoboCop. “This is great though, well, until they reveal possible price points or if it’s tied into PS+. This does sound like it’s going to basically be Netflix with PlayStation games.”
With these features being included, the panic that Gamestop investors felt is undeniable; in the event that PS Now becomes a major streaming service, Gamestop could be heading the route of Blockbuster and Jumbo Video.
However, Gamestop does offer many exclusive services that may entice consumers to keep returning. These include midnight release launches, pre-order packages and console purchases.
The representative from Gamestop claimed that even though these are major draws, the profit may be lacking.