Last week, I discussed the recent buzz surrounding Sony's decision to hike the prices of its PlayStation Plus subscription. The aftermath of that decision has been quite remarkable, with notable implications for the stock market and the broader gaming industry.
Sony Group reported a notable surge in its stock price after revealing its intent to hike the subscription prices of PlayStation Plus. Starting from September 6, Sony Interactive Entertainment has communicated a substantial uptick of up to 35% for its PlayStation Plus services.
In the US, subscribers will notice a minimum increase of nearly 35% across all tiers, which includes the Essential, Extra, and Premium plans. Notably, to enjoy online multiplayer gaming on Sony’s console platforms, a PlayStation Plus subscription is vital.
Market observers were quick to note the impact of this decision. By Friday, according to Bloomberg, Sony's shares had escalated 3.4% in Tokyo, marking the most significant surge in over a month. Such a momentum in the stock market following the announcement underscores the financial implications of Sony's strategy. There's speculation among market watchers that this could herald a trend of more frequent price adjustments in the future. GREAAAAAT....
Sony has justified the price increase by highlighting its commitment to delivering top-notch games and added benefits through the PlayStation Plus service. Though based off their current offering, I beg to differ. Adam Michel, the director of content acquisition and operations for PlayStation, emphasized this point during the announcement. However, it remains to be seen if there will be any augmented value for subscribers, as details are still under wraps.
The tech giant is not stopping at mere price changes. Sony has been busy beta testing cloud streaming for PS5 games. This feature, once rolled out, will be exclusively available to PlayStation Plus Premium members.
Furthermore, PlayStation enthusiasts have at least SOMETHING to look forward to, with Sony releasing the Essential games for September, which includes titles like Saints Row (available on PS5 and PS4), Black Desert – Traveler Edition (PS4), and Generation Zero (PS4).
On a related note, Sony is gearing up for the launch of its Remote Play handheld PlayStation Portal this November, an intriguing device priced at $200 that promises remote connectivity to PS5 consoles over Wi-Fi.
It's also worth mentioning that Sony isn't the only major player adjusting subscription prices. Earlier, in July, Microsoft revised the pricing for its Xbox Game Pass, with minor increases for its console and Ultimate subscriptions, though the PC Game Pass pricing remained unchanged. The gaming industry is evidently evolving, with major brands revisiting their pricing strategies... But it remains to be seen if these hikes will ultimately be successful in the long run for the video game industry on the whole. In the meantime, gamers are footing an ever-expanding bill.