Home Gaming Pachter says PS Now “Is a joke”

Pachter says PS Now “Is a joke”

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Video game industry analyst Michael Pachter has criticised PlayStation’s PlayStation Now service in the latest issue of Game Informer, calling it a “joke” and claiming that publishers won’t allow titles less than two years old to be playable.

“PlayStation Now is a joke. There is no publisher that is going to license content that’s less than two-years old because they would be concerned that they can’t sell as many copies if they make it available for subscription or rental. This has no prayer of working. None.”

For those who don’t know, PlayStation Now lets users stream PlayStation games to their TVs and mobile devices. At the moment a closed beta is running in North America and it is expected to launch Q2-Q3 of 2014. SCEA’s marketing Vice President John Koller has said that “Publishers are being exceedingly bullish” about PlayStation Now, despite no official announcement from Sony about third-party partners for the service.

Personally, I think there is a much larger issue at hand. I don’t think the network infrastructure in North America is good enough for this kind of taxing streaming service, or basically anywhere that isn’t eastern Asia. There needs to be a major overhaul before I could see any of this working without hiccups. PlayStation recommends a 5 Mbps connection, which although is much lower than the very skewed-by-major-metropoles average of 20.95mbps for the US, that estimate seems a little sparse to stream.

It’s hard to tell right now if Pachter is correct, or if Sony has all their bases covered when it comes to making the service profitable. I hope it catches on, I mean, we stream everything else, right? Why not video games?

Last Updated: February 6, 2014


  1. Spathi says Michael Pachter is a joke.


  2. Umar Hyakutaro [S]

    February 6, 2014 at 08:04

    Wana hear a joke?

    Knock Knock
    Who’s there?
    Micheal Pacther



  3. CAE9872

    February 6, 2014 at 08:18

    I like Pachter but I think PS Now could work very well indeed provided the publishers come on board and start to see that people do like looking back on the past of games and there is a market there. Also the speed issue for streaming is a major stumbling block right now and for the foreseeable future. But I think could get better over time.

    We shall see who is right…us gamers will decide ultimately.


  4. Martin du preez

    February 6, 2014 at 08:29

  5. Alien Emperor Trevor

    February 6, 2014 at 08:35

    • Hammersteyn

      February 6, 2014 at 08:47



    • ToshZA

      February 6, 2014 at 08:50

      Oh how I miss that show.


  6. Gavin Mannion

    February 6, 2014 at 08:41

    I love how everyone in the comments is raging on Pachter but his two points are very logical

    1. Why would Publishers want their game to be streamed cheaply and cannabilise sales? 2 years is a bit much though, maybe one year
    2. The reason OnLive and Gaikai never worked on their own is because nowhere outside of say South Korea has the infrastructure going to enough people to make this a viable business model.

    It’s a nice idea for people who live in massive cities with a server farm in the city and fibre connections but that percentage of people isn’t going to make up for the costs.

    Will be awesome in 5 years time and then everyone will look back and say Sony were before their time.


    • SheHulkNigri

      February 6, 2014 at 08:45

      I have to agree

      The infrastructure in SA is bad and the good lines are hellishly expensive.


    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      February 6, 2014 at 08:46

      I wasn’t raging – I was making a doom joke 😉

      I agree with the infrastructure point, the streaming point will depend on publishers.


      • Stephen Snook

        February 6, 2014 at 08:52

        To be fair, I referenced Invader Zim in the rollover text xD


        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          February 6, 2014 at 09:17

          The old one-two combination!


    • ElimiNathan

      February 6, 2014 at 09:19


      If they monetize the steaming properly they could make way more than hard copies alone.

      Yes it won’t work for countries like ours for now but that’s why they don’t go all in with the streaming and sell hard copies too.


    • Weanerdog

      February 6, 2014 at 09:39

      Point 1) How many guys buying the new gen consoles don’t already own a console, so the developers have already made that sale, they now get to make it again at a lower price. Also if guys can play their old games on the new console even at a small price they might be more willing to buy the new console. The biggest gripe at the moment is that there are no games to play on the new console, so no one is going to trade in their old console to help finance a new one.

      Point 2) It will only benefit those that have the capacity. Most capacity is in the big cities where funnily enough is also where most of the people are I am looking at this from a first world perspective. Most of us here unfortunately do not have the infrastructure to make this work.


    • HvR

      February 6, 2014 at 09:42

      As much as I dislike like Pachter the guy is right almost every time.

      Although on point 1 I think Sony has proven that they can get publishers to get on board if games have been out for 6 to 12 months (PS+)

      Also Michael Pachter has a stupid face.


    • Brian Murphy

      February 6, 2014 at 17:38

      1. Didn’t Sony just give Bioshock Infinite away on PS+. Remind me how old that game is again?

      2. I’m in backwoods Vermont, USA, and speedtest tells me I’m sitting on a 57mbps up/11m/s down.

      There is no massive city here in Vermont. _One_ of the burrows of New York City has more people than the entirety of my State.

      Starwipe: The more you know.

      Broadband infrastructure is certainly important, but, let’s face it, there’s a ton of it in the US, Europe, and some Asian countries. Why? Because the PEOPLE and the GOVERNMENT thought it would be a good idea to have as much of their population have access to an affordable internet. Instead of piling on Sony, or insert tech company here, you should probably be reflecting on the priorities of your Government.

      Just sayin’.


    • Brian Murphy

      February 7, 2014 at 01:07

      PS. Pachter also said that PS4 games would be running at 240fps.


  7. Pieter Kruger

    February 6, 2014 at 09:14

    It’s Doomed, a pipe dream and currently the pipe is a little too ruin especially here in SA! Maybe one day we can use it on our space ships, but for now…..DOOMED!


  8. TiMsTeR1033

    February 6, 2014 at 09:27

    Pratcher is a bloody joke, guy has a face you just wanna f##%^ck up!!


  9. Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    February 6, 2014 at 10:36

    While I don’t like Pachter and his rants, he does seem to have some very valid points.

    If I was a publisher I wouldn’t want my game to be streamed until sales have reached a specific minimum where it would be justifiable to let the game be rented or subscribed to. The subscribing model for a standalone game is not exactly everyone’s cup of tea.

    However I still believe there is a market for it. Granted not large, but I do think that companies could in theory extend the sales life of their games while making some extra income through subscribed or rented games. But a balance needs to be found. Whether it’s 2 years or 1 year after launch before it’s to be released one has to ask… isn’t it too late at that stage? By then the game has already dropped down to an acceptable price for those who prefer to wait to buy games (Either second hand or on special).

    It’s a tough call to make so early on but the guy has a point.

    That being said, does anyone else read Pachter’s name as Prat when the read anything he says?


  10. Anukul

    February 10, 2014 at 21:19

    Patcher is doomed, now he only jokes


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