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Can We Rent Games On The PSP Go?

One might assume that because the PSP Go is download-only, the chance of renting games for the new handheld has flown out the window. But maybe not...

According to an unknown source cited by Fudzilla, Sony has put a "time limit value" on certain gaming and media content. We've known for a while that video content would have an expiration date but if this is the case, wouldn't it be possible to provide PSP Go owners with games that have an "ending point" as well? This would be the epitome of a digital rental: rent the game, play it for a set period of time and when that time is up, it goes away unless you wish to purchase the full product. Also, let's not forget that video game publishers really don't see a dime from rental transactions in the retail world, so if this works out, Sony might find a way to give game makers a small cut of these digital rentals. A whole lot of companies would jump on board fairly quickly and gamers would have a chance to test out titles before buying. It definitely sounds like a potential win-win, although we're relatively certain there are plenty of technical and financial stumbling blocks in the path of this good idea.

We'll let you know if Sony ever announces a rental system of sorts for their sleek new portable, and we're always keeping an eye on the progress of that UMD-to-digital conversion program they're working on...

10/5/2009 10:20:56 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (25 posts)

Highlander
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 11:06:28 AM
Reply

If you look at the properties of games on the PSP and PS3 you will see a field that talks about (I can't remember the actual wording) the expiration date of the content. This has been there for at least a year or more, perhaps since the very beginning ( it's not something that was just recently added via firmware). I remember once mentioning it to my wife and wondering whether they'd eventually do game/video rentals this way.

Personally if I could rent some games for a couple of days for $5 instead of forking out $40 for them at retail, I would be all aboard that train. There are games I would like to try before I buy. Some I would never buy without trying them, and so my $40 goes to waste.

What if Sony implemented a game rental system, say $5 for a day or two, and allowed you to decide any time within that week to upgrade to a full purchase? If all a gamer had to do was pay the difference between the rental and the retail price, I am sure that a lot more games would be tried and then purchased.

I can't see this as a bad thing myself.

Last edited by Highlander on 10/5/2009 11:07:22 AM

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Natalisrubbish
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 7:22:36 PM

Yeah Highlander, I too noted that probably back in like 2007 or so, when hitting triangle on my warhawk icon and going into game information or something like that. I think it is a great idea as well, definetly will generate even more long term revenue for SCE. Some games you just have to try before you buy and nothing is better than renting a game for a few days, full featured and from the comfort of your home, beore venturing out to fork over cash at a local games shop or online.

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Cavan
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 11:18:09 AM
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what a good idea...

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Hezzron
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 11:19:43 AM
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This sounds OK for larger "real" games. But I was under the impression that the Go was mostly going to consist of casual, cheaper, easily downloaded, trinket games. Why would someone bother renting silly little puzzle games? They should be cheap enough as a buy.

Try as they might, the Go just doesn't do it for me.

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Cavan
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 11:19:44 AM
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the trouble with digital downloading is that once youve done with the game, your forced to keep it where as many a gamer will trade in games for newer ones. this rental way might be a way to solve this.

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Highlander
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 11:22:33 AM

Game trading cannibalizes new game sales. Developers and publishers would love to see game trading end yesterday. Rental on the other hand is something they like because it enables purchases by consumers who are not sure about a game - the try before you buy thing.

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Gone
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 11:30:12 AM

@TheHighlander

Why rent you can just download the demo and then make your decision on buying? You can save the money you would have took to rent it and buy it instead. I downloaded the demo of NFS:Shift and was very disappointed, I am glad that I didn't waste any money renting the game. Big fan of demos. Just my opinion, to each is their own.

Last edited by Gone on 10/5/2009 11:37:52 AM

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HANZ64
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 12:01:05 PM

Well not every game comes out with a demo, and besides your getting the FULL game for a few $. Of course the time you have with the game will be limited but depending on the game you can probably finish the campaign in a couple of days...

Actually it doesn't seem like a good idea anymore...

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Highlander
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 2:45:20 PM

@Chief

Demos are great, I play a lot of them. Many times though the Demo leaves me undecided.

I wasn't thinking that rental would replace demos, it's more a case of rentals being taken up by many who might never otherwise buy the game, so that even if the player doesn't buy the game they have paid to rent it. Depending on How Sony handled the revenue (do they share with the publisher?), developers and publishers could be very happy with this. Devs, publishers and Sony/MS are not fond of used game sales since they see no revenue from it. But game rentals through PSN or XBL? That would be a different story.

You know one thing that a lot of people neglect in looking at game sales patterns, is how many games are now utterly dependent on the initial sales and have no 'tail'. It used to be that games would continue to sell long after they were no longer 'new', the numbers would decline, but there would still be sales. However in the current generation, games have too sell a crap load of copies in the first month because sales after that drop like a stone. Now, if you think about it, you can see why. Used games. In the initial rush a lot of people buy a game, and either are not fond of it, or finish it and within a few weeks trade it in for something else. Now that game re-appears on the shelf to be sold along side a new copy. It costs less, so it sells. GameStop and other retailers with used game programs are happy, but the publishers are not so. Used game sales kills the long 'tail' in game sales.

I don't have specific figures but you can see this is true just by looking at the incredible way sales numbers drop off after the first month or so of sales. Games that in previous generations continued to sell, just don't because there is no incentive to buy new when used is cheaper. Blu Ray discs make this worse since they are practically impossible to scratch through normal use. So with BD based games you get a pristine disc whether new or used.

Oddly, you see some titles continuing to sell well beyond the initial launch, but have you taken note of which ones they are? They are all the ones that come with peripherals. People don't trust used peripherals very easily, and so games that come with peripherals don't do well in the used game sales.

I bet you can see this if you analyze titles like Wii Fit, or Guitar Hero/Rock band (the versions that come with an instrument). I'd be willing to bet that such titles have a much longer tail.

Anyway, I think game rental is different to demos and offers something demos don't and game developers, publishers and console makers will all benefit more from rentals than from used sales. Ultimately we (gamers) all benefit from that because as long as game developers, publishers and console makers are making a profit, we will continue to see new products coming along.

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Gone
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 3:23:28 PM

@TheHighlander

All very good points. From that essay that you wrote it seems like you took a composition class in your day (not being sarcastic). I always look forward to your comments.

I think the main reason why people don't rent games right now is because of the trip to and from the rental store. If renting was made easier, then more people would do it.

Sony should do a program where if you have rented the game and want to buy it, then they will deduct the price of the rental from the download price.

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Fane1024
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 5:14:46 PM

@ The Highlander

I agree with what you said, but it is also true that the ability to re-sell games spurs those initial sales. People are more likely to pay full price for game about which they are "iffy", since they know that they can re-sell it for most of what they paid for it, providing they do so immediately.

You apparently don't re-sell games (neither do I), so that doesn't factor into your decision, but I would bet that the people who do re-sell games regularly buy more new (launch) games than they otherwise would.

Personally, I would never rent a game in order to "try before I buy", because that would make the total price for that game greater and the amount of playtime I would get from the purchased copy less. Even factoring in the games I would decide not to buy after renting, that seems like money not well spent. But that's me. I might "rent to own", though.

In-store rentals are actually potentially worse than the resale market, because one game sold to Gamefly or Blockbuster might pass through dozens of hands (NONE of whom may decide to buy it), while a traded game is probably only played by a few people. This, of course, doesn't apply to downloaded rentals.

p.s. I'm one of those few people buying games well after launch, after the price decreases. I prefer to buy new games, but will buy used if that's all I can get at a (substantial) discount. The way I see it, I'm splitting the cost of the game with the original purchaser, so the publisher is getting some of my money by proxy.

Last edited by Fane1024 on 10/5/2009 5:37:12 PM

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Kevadu
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 11:31:43 AM
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It would make a lot of sense to do this. Don't forget that they've been doing movie rentals for a while now, so the infrastructure is in place already.

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Alienange
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 12:37:28 PM
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As Sony has shown with both the PS3 and PSPGo, they do not know how to price new products. I highly doubt they'll price rentals properly. I'd like to see what they've concocted before thinking they're onto some brilliant idea.

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 4:40:35 PM
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How about before they implement this rental program they start looking at the prices they're setting for full retail games. $10 for a mini game on the psp that costs no more than 3 bux on the ipod is appalling.

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Highlander
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 10:53:45 PM

Ah LV, let's cut to the chase and name names. $9.99 for any version of Tetris is at least $5 too much. Sony said that publishers would be able to set their own price. So, is it Sony, or EA we should be annoyed with?

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 @ 2:13:57 AM

Sony, it's their platform. They're allowing it to go on.

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tes37
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 6:16:56 PM
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Although I have no plans for a psp go, I believe this is a great idea and should extend to any game on the psn.

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inkme101
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 7:41:32 PM
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we should be able to rent ps3 games also then!

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Kowhoho
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 8:05:22 PM

Hmmm well all you need to do is stop by a blockbuster. Don't expect to be able to *download* an entire blu-ray released game. It'd take way too freaking long.

Great, great, GREAT idea for PSN releases though.

Last edited by Kowhoho on 10/5/2009 8:05:53 PM

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Highlander
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 10:55:18 PM

Gamefly?

Unless I miss my guess you can also pay the extra difference between the rental you already paid and the actual MSRP of the game to purchase it if you decide you want to keep it.

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___________
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 @ 2:05:21 AM
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that would be a brilliant idea.
since out of all the games ive bought for my psp sucked donkey balls.
besides logans shadow, broken mirror and CoO.
i bought scarface thinking it would be the same as the ps2 version, oooooo boy was i disappointed.
and i would be even more pissed off if i downloaded a game than dident like it, because then not only did i waste money i also wasted part of my download usage.
but make it a trial version and compress the hell out of it.
i dont know how big psp go games are but i remember reading GT PSP is just over 1GB, trial versions should only be 50 MB max.
that way i can download plenty of trials and pick what i like and not risk going over my download limit.
because once i do, o god jesus christ my net gets throttled like a mofo, 10 minutes to load 1 bloody site.
O and i wont be able to participate in MAG.
now i CANT let that happen, im having way to much fun with it.
this may be the halo killer the ps3 has so long been looking for.

Last edited by ___________ on 10/6/2009 2:09:03 AM

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emmykat
Tuesday, October 13, 2009 @ 5:23:08 AM

=> ___________


''all the games ive bought for my psp sucked donkey balls.
besides logans shadow, broken mirror and CoO. ''
I know what you mean, i think that GT, Worms 2, and quite a few of my other games are kinda rubbish, i love Logan's shadow though, and Tetris Mini.

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xStatiCa
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 @ 4:14:11 AM
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"Also, let's not forget that video game publishers really don't see a dime from rental transactions in the retail world, so if this works out, Sony might find a way to give game makers a small cut of these digital rentals"

No thank you. There is no requirement to make sure retail gets a piece of game rental profit. That would just increase the cost of the rental. Any PSP Go Game rental service would need to be kept as cheap as possible. Keep retail out of it.

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CrazyIrishBoy
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 @ 3:15:15 PM
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That is a good question... Games are bound to be able to be hacked and copied as they are played or summat so i doubt if they will be able to be rented. I only read the title sorry but I doubt if they will release a renting system.

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emmykat
Tuesday, October 13, 2009 @ 4:57:30 AM
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I only read the story and no comments either (except the one previous to mine)
I think it is a good idea in theory and that sony would surely be able to come up with a great way of making it, however i think that if you rent the game, the game rental price should be taken off the official retail price, even if it was only £2 or something...
A bit like when you buy paint tester pots, if you buy a big can of it then the money comes off...

I think it's a great idea, so long as it is cheap, and that you don't get ripped off with an error in the time you're given to play it.

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