What just happened? Sony appears to be wanting to compete with other online retailers by selling PlayStation products directly to the customer. However, aside from limited time bundles and express one-day shipping for Plus members, its prices cannot compete online retail giant Amazon.
On Wednesday, Sony launched a new online store called "PS Direct" to sell PlayStation products directly to the consumer. Unfortunately, the terms of service state the store is currently only open to US customers.
Of course, the store features consoles, controllers, PSVR, and other accessories. Surprisingly, Sony will also be selling physical disc games as well. Until now, the company only sold games digitally. Cleary, the console giant has realized that there is still a large market for physical media and has added the product to its lineup.
Currently, game selection is sparse with only about 18 titles, including God of War 3: Remastered, Bloodborne, Horizon Zero Dawn, and other well-known, albeit, older games. Presumably, Sony will be adding to its disc collection over time.
A quick browse reveals that the prices are not as competitive as other retailers. For example, a 1TB PS4 Pro through Sony is $400 compared to $362 for the same console on Amazon. It is in line with Best Buy's pricing, so there is that. However, Sony is offering free one-day express shipping to PS Plus members. Even with Prime, Amazon delivers a Pro in a week "due to [shipping restrictions on] materials in its composition."
Additionally, Sony is running a launch promotion offering customers a 12-month subscription to PS Plus packed with purchases of the PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro. The bundled prices are $340 and $430 respectively. The standard PS4 package also includes Fortnite.
Sony has the right idea about cutting out the middleman. However, if it cannot be more competitive with its pricing and improve its game selection, I don't see the PS Direct flourishing.