Would You Pay for Unlimited PSP Rentals?

Click:634  Time:2009-05-26 14:38:00

In one of the strangest industry developments we've ever heard, Sony may be planning to offer digital game rentals on its PSP handheld. These "rental" games would be fully featured, just like a UMD. The only difference between this system and renting the game from Blockbuster would be the fact that titles would have a built-in expiration date and would be accessible only via the PSN online shop.

There are two potential problems with this business model. Firstly, portable games have never been the central pillar of the game rental business. Usually these games are smaller in scope and less expensive than home console games, making them less appealing as a rental. We might be unwilling to shell out $69.99 on the new Wolverine game, but a $5 rental is perfect in that case. Patapon 2, priced at $19.99 is actually more appealing as a purchase than a rental. Secondly, video game manufacturers traditionally hate video game rentals. They consider these after-market services to be a drain on revenue, much in the same way that used game sales have been criticized for hurting the publishing industry. Sony will have an upward climb to convince third party publishers to get on board with such an innovative but risky business model.

According to a recent questionnaire issued by Sony, the company is considering different game rental subscriptions for the PSP similar to Netflix. One plan would offer access to 20 rented games per month, from a selection of titles three months old or more, and would cost $12.99 per month. Another plan would be priced at $49.99 per year and would offer access to 15 newer releases each month. Presumably, each plan would allow the user to keep games active on the machine until they were swapped out for a different rental. Which PSP game rental plan would you choose (if any) and why?


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