In 2014, Sony launched an on-demand streaming video game service called PlayStation Now (PS Now). For a monthly fee, customers can play hundreds of games for the PS2, PS3, and PS4 whenever they please. Learn more about what PlayStation Now is and how it works to help you decide if a subscription is worth your money.
This article is about the cloud gaming service PlayStation Now, which is different from the PlayStation Network.
How Does PlayStation Now Work?
PlayStation Now operates on a model similar to streaming video services like Netflix. Users pay a flat fee to play a wide selection of games on their PlayStation 4 or Windows computer. PlayStation Now was once available for PS3, PS Vita, and a few other devices, but now it's exclusive to PS4 and PC.
Games on PS Now support all of their original features, including trophies, online multiplayer, and even PlayStation VR. Your game data can also be saved online, so when you quit and sign back in, you can resume playing from where you left off.
What Do You Need to Use PlayStation Now?
To sign up for PlayStation Now, you need a PlayStation Network (PSN) account, which you probably created when setting up your PS4. With your PSN user name and password, you can use your PS Now account on your console and your computer.
While some games can be temporarily downloaded and played offline, most games require a stable internet connection to play. Sony recommends at least a 5 Mbps connection. If possible, connect your PS4 directly to your router with an Ethernet cable for best results.
A powerful graphics card is required to play PS4 games on your PC, and you'll also need to download the PS Now app, which is currently only available for Windows. If you have a PS4 controller, you can use it to play PS Now games on your computer. You can even use an Xbox One controller to play PlayStation games on PC.
Considering the violent nature of many video games, you must be 18 years old to create a PS Now account.
To prevent children from using the service, you can set up a separate profile on your PS4 that restricts access to certain apps.
How Reliable Is PlayStation Now?
PlayStation Now's performance largely depends on your internet speed. When streaming games, poor connection can cause lag and other graphical distortions, but it's rarely bad enough to interrupt gameplay unless you lose internet altogether. If a game you want to play is available for download, you should download it to prevent interruptions.
Leaving your game system idle for too long will cause you to automatically disconnect from PlayStation Now.
How Much Is a PlayStation Now Subscription?
PlayStation Now has flexible pricing packages including:The $19.99 monthly planThe $44.99 quarterly planThe $99.99 annual plan
When you sign up for PlayStation Now, a recurring payment is set up on your credit or debit card, so your subscription will automatically renew at the end of the billing cycle. You can cancel at any time.
New members can try PlayStation Now free for seven days, but you must provide a payment method, which will automatically be charged at the end of the trial if you don't cancel. Sony also regularly offers discounts, and new PS4 consoles often come bundled with a free PS Now trial.
Is PlayStation Now Worth It?
Considering the high cost of individual games, a PlayStation Now subscription is well worth the investment if there's at least a few games you want to play. The yearly subscription is obviously the most economical choice, but if you only want to play one or two games, the monthly plan might make more sense. You may also discover games you've never heard of before.What We Like
Sample games before you pay full price for them.
Games are categorized by genre and easy to browse.
Free trial is full-featured and easy to cancel.What We Don't Like
PS3 games are not downloadable.
Limited selection of new PS4 titles.
No original PlayStation, PSP, or PS Vita games.
Where Is PlayStation Now Available?
PlayStation Now is available for everyone in the following countries:United StatesCanadaUnited KingdomGermanyBelgiumFranceIrelandSwitzerlandAustriaThe NetherlandsLuxemburgJapanSpainItalyNorwayPortugalDenmarkFinlandSweden
Is There a PlayStation Now Games List?
PlayStation Now boasts an ever-growing list of PlayStation exclusives, as well as cross-platform titles. Offerings change periodically, but you'll always find an impressive variety of genres and titles ranging from classic hits to obscure gems. Consult the PlayStation Now website for a list of available games.