Play PlayStation games online
Sony has been making major inroads in the world of game streaming, but up until now, the PlayStation Now service was an incredibly poor value. After all, a couple of hours of access to a single game can’t compete with the likes of Steam sales and Humble Bundles. Thankfully, all that is about to change this month as Sony introduces an all-you-can-play subscription service that gives you unlimited access to the entire PS Now library for about $15 per month.
Beginning on January 13, PS4 owners in North America will be able to purchase a one-month subscription to PlayStation Now for $20 and a three-month subscription for $45. Eventually, the subscription service will roll out to other regions and devices. Considering how quickly Sony is pushing PS Now to other devices, it’s unthinkable that the subscription’s PS4-exclusivity will be long-lived.
When PS Now was first announced, I was extremely skeptical of Sony’s cloud-focused initiative. Game streaming isn’t exactly new, but it’s never been executed perfectly before. When the beta launched on PS4, I spent hours testing it, and I was actually pleasantly surprised by the experience. My biggest complaints were the cost and selection of games — not the core streaming tech. With the announcement of this new subscription model, Sony is one step closer to offering a game streaming service that I can whole-heartedly recommend.
Now, Sony needs to work on filling out the library with titles both large and small. The PS3 alone has well over 700 games, so the measly “100+” titles currently available is a bit of a letdown. Sony is using custom PS3-based hardware to run the existing PS Now titles, but adding in PS1, PS2, and PS4 support at some point seems inevitable. After all, we were promised streaming PS4 demos all the way back in 2013 when the PS4 was announced.
So, should you jump aboard the streaming train this month? I’d suggest holding off for the time being. Considering the recent instability of PSN, investing 20 or 45 bucks on an online-only service labeled as a “beta” is a hard sell. While the PS Now subscription pricing is a step in the right direction, Sony still has a lot of work to do in terms of overall network reliability and selection. PS Now still holds a lot of promise, but the value proposition and level of trust isn’t quite where it needs to be just yet.