Well, it’s good to know that Sony has follow through.
Announced at CES today; Sony revealed what that Gakai purchase they made years ago was all about. Playstation Now is the streaming service that is going to be coming to just about all Sony platforms. To gamers, it is what is going to give that shiny new PS4 of yours that backwards compatibility that you’ve been dying for. To Gamestop investors, well, it signals a changing tide.
Analyst Michael Pachter said it like this,
“It is important to note that PS4 has no backwards compatibility with PS3 discs, meaning that the availability of PS3 digitally streamed games will not directly result in lower used sales of PS3 games to PS4 owners. GameStop’s used gaming sales from PS3 discs on PS3 consoles are most likely to be impacted; however, until we know more about game availability, timing, and pricing, among other factors, we do not see a meaningfully negative impact to GameStop in the near-term. Our bias is that this service will attract fewer than 1 million subscribers, and will impact overall game sales by 1 — 2 percent in the aggregate over the next five years.”
In other words, Gamestop’s investors are overreacting at the moment. Until we know more, they shouldn’t be too worried. That doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be worried at all. This is another swing towards a completely digital medium, and will be one more thing that Gamestop will have to adapt to. For better or for worse, Gamestop, as we know it, has an expiration date. Things are moving more and more towards digital, and Playstation Now may be just another standard bearer for the digital future to come. So Gamestop’s choice to is evolve or die; it’s going to be an interesting next couple of years.