PlayStation Now is a relatively new service from Sony, offering you the chance to stream some cracking games onto your PS4 from the classic PS3 (PS1 and PS2 games will follow soon).
You may remember that there was a lot of fuss at the time of the PS4 and Xbox One launch announcements, specifically referring to backwards compatibility – the chance to use games from the previous generation in this new next gen world. Well this is the PlayStation solution which has had a little bit of criticism, particularly now that Microsoft have released a solution for Xbox One which allows certain 360 discs to be played directly on the console, this isn’t possible for the PS4 and any older games need to be streamed (hence PS Now).
PS Now allows you to rent single games for a cost per game, or rent unlimited games each month for a price of £12.99 (in a Netflix-style model). As well as the PS4, you can stream some games onto PS Vita, and even other Sony devices (the website mentions PlayStation TV and select compatible Sony Blu-ray players and Sony Bravia TVs).
The technology is good – you need a reasonable internet connection (I average 8-10MB and mine is fine) which is tested when you sign up, the games are then available to stream straight away, meaning no impact on your PS4 hard drive, and generally no lagging.
I did have some issues with the newly-released Lego games particularly, where the games would buffer and have image quality issues, my session was then shut down by PS Now because of the connection issues (giving me a short countdown to the reset so that I could attempt to save progress). On the whole the stream quality has been good however and problems have been rare.
So what sort of games are available?
There are over 150 games already available on the UK PS Now (it has been available in other countries for a little longer and has a slightly different library), there is a decent number of good games, including The Last of Us (repeatedly named as THE game for the PS3), various Lego franchise games, three different Batman games, Borderlands 1 & 2, Saints Row, Streetfighter IV (I still always choose Ryu), and plenty of indie and Japanese games that you may not have played before, or maybe even heard of.
This is a great chance for anyone that didn’t own a PS3 to catch up with some great games that they would have otherwise missed (and think of the opportunities when the PS2 and PS1 games are added!).
How do I join?
I would recommend signing up to the £12.99 per month service, single games are usually about £4.99 each, so £12.99 for unlimited gaming is good value.
Joining is pretty easy:
- From your PS4 navigate to PS Store (on the left)
- Scroll down and choose PlayStation Now from the menu bar on the left of the screen
- If you haven’t signed up before you will be given the chance for a 7 day free trial, if you have already used this then you will just resume your membership
- Your internet connection will be tested, in my experience it is always a little quicker and more stable if it is hard wired, so if possible plug your PS4 into your modem with an Ethernet cable, rather than just using WIFI, before this test
- You will need to add your credit card information for the continuous billing that is in effect if you carry on after your 7 day trial. You can cancel within that week without being charged however
- If your connection is okay and your card details are accepted, you’re in! Enjoy a big library of games split into various categories, from driving to indie, from puzzle to hack n slash (my favourite name of a category).
What are your favourite games on PS Now? I will be writing a feature shortly and would love to hear your thoughts! Comment below…