PlayStation Now
DeveloperSony Interactive Entertainment
TypeVideo game subscription service
Launch date
  • NA: January 28, 2014
  • UK: March 7, 2015
  • EU: April 15, 2016
  • JP: September 6, 2017
Platform(s)PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows
StatusActive
Members3.2 million (as of March 31, 2021)[1]
Pricing model7-day free trial
US$9.99 per month
US$24.99 for 3 months
US$59.99 per year
Websitewww.playstation.com/en-us/ps-now/

PlayStation Now (PS Now) is a cloud gaming subscription service developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. The service allows members to stream PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 games on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PC. PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 4 games can be downloaded to play locally on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.[2] No games can be downloaded on to a PC.[3] Downloaded games can be played without an internet connection but internet connection is required for verification every few days.[4][5]

Non-PlayStation devices need a DualShock 3, 4, DualSense, or any XInput-compatible controller, such as an Xbox gamepad, to use the service. If members intend to stream their games, Sony recommends that players have a minimum of 5 Mbps internet connection to achieve good performance.[6]

History

PlayStation Now was announced on January 7, 2014 at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show powered by technology from Gaikai.[7][8] At CES, Sony presented demos of The Last of Us, God of War: Ascension, Puppeteer, and Beyond: Two Souls, playable through PS Now on Bravia TVs and PlayStation Vita.[9] The closed beta began in the United States on January 28 with PS3, and on May 19 was extended to PS4.[8][10][11]

To implement the service, Sony created a single motherboard equivalent to 8 PS3 console units into a server rack to allow the games to function, as opposed to software emulation, due to architectural complexity.[12][13]

PlayStation Now was launched in Open Beta in the United States and Canada on PS4 on July 31, 2014, on PS3 on September 18, 2014, on PS Vita and PS TV on October 14, 2014, with support for select 2014 Bravia TVs coming later in the year.[11][14] At Gamescom 2014, SCE announced that PS Now would arrive in Europe in 2015, with the United Kingdom to be the first European country to access the service.[15] On December 24, 2014, Sony announced that PlayStation Now would expand to the other electronic brands.[16]

On CES 2015, Sony confirmed that PlayStation Now would arrive in North America on PS4 as full release on January 13, 2015. On March 7, 2015, it was revealed that PlayStation Now was accessible in Europe.[17] Official beta invites for Europe started going out to PS4 owners on April 15, 2015.[18]

On February 17, 2017, Sony announced it would discontinue PlayStation Now on PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV, Sony Bravia televisions (modeled between 2013–15), Sony Blu-ray players and all Samsung televisions by August 15, 2017.[19]

On September 20, 2018, Sony announced that users on PlayStation 4 would be able to download PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 4 games offered via the service as Sony started to gradually roll out the new feature to subscribers.[2]

On January 23, 2019, Sony announced that the service would be launching in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden later in the year. A beta for these countries launched in early February[20] and the full service launched on March 12, 2019.[21]

On April 22, 2021, Sony announced that support for 1080p streaming would start rolling out during the week.[22]

On December 3, 2021, Bloomberg reported that Sony is reportedly working on a new subscription service codenamed "Spartacus". The service will be a merger of the company’s current services, PlayStation Plus, and PlayStation Now, with the company reportedly set to keep the Plus branding. The service will include three tiers: the first will include all the benefits that PlayStation Plus would include, the second will expand upon the first by including a catalog of titles, and the third one will expand upon the first two by including demos as well as a catalog of games from the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Portable. The service is set to launch within the Spring of 2022, and will compete with Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service.[23]

Games

PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4 games on PlayStation Now can be streamed to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC. As of 2020, there are over 800 games available, with over 300 of them available for download to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. New games are added every month.[14]

After a 7-day free trial, there are three pricing options available for the subscription service.[14]

A separate subscription fee for online multiplayer is not required for PlayStation Now games. The three pricing options give access to both single player and online multiplayer components.[14]

Availability

PlayStation Now is available in Europe (including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom), North America (Canada and the United States), as well as Japan.[21]

References

  1. ^ "Sony IR Day 2021 Game & Network Services Segment" (PDF). Sony.com. May 26, 2021. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 26, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Dunn, Brian. "PlayStation Now Adds Downloading of PS4, PS2 Games". Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  3. ^ "Getting started". PlayStation. Retrieved December 15, 2021.
  4. ^ "PlayStation Now Adds Downloading of PS4, PS2 Games". PlayStation.Blog. September 20, 2018. Retrieved December 15, 2021.
  5. ^ "PlayStation Now is changing: here's everything you need to know". PlayStation.Blog. October 1, 2019. Retrieved December 15, 2021.
  6. ^ Karmali, Luke (January 9, 2014). "PlayStation Now Recommends 5Mb/s Connection". IGN. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  7. ^ Peckham, Matt. "Sony Unveils 'PlayStation Now' Streaming Game Service at CES 2014". Time. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Moriarty, Colin. "Sony Reveals its Streaming Service: PlayStation Now". IGN. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  9. ^ Long, Neil (January 8, 2014). "Spotify, Netflix and Now, PlayStation: streaming finally trickles down to videogames". Edge Online. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  10. ^ Reardon, Marguerite. "Sony goes all-in on cloud with game, TV streaming". CNET. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  11. ^ a b Jamshidi, Peter (May 19, 2014). "PlayStation Now: PS4 Private Beta Starts Tomorrow". PlayStation. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  12. ^ Leadbetter, Richard (January 17, 2014). "Sony creates custom PS3 hardware for PlayStation Now". Eurogamer. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  13. ^ "Sony's PlayStation Now uses custom-designed hardware with eight PS3s on a single motherboard - ExtremeTech". www.extremetech.com. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  14. ^ a b c d "PlayStation Now". PlayStation. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  15. ^ "PlayStation Now gets all-you-can-play subscription plans". Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  16. ^ "Samsung PlayStation? PS Now coming to Samsung smart TVs in 2015". Ars Technica. December 24, 2014.
  17. ^ "PlayStation Now Beta Currently Running in Europe". xtremeps3. March 7, 2015.
  18. ^ "PlayStation Now Beta Invites Going Out". xtremeps3. April 15, 2015.
  19. ^ Dunn, Brian (February 17, 2017). "PlayStation Now Service Update". PlayStation Blog. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  20. ^ "PlayStation Now is coming soon to Spain, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden". PlayStation Blog. January 23, 2019. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  21. ^ a b "PS Now launches across Italy, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway". PlayStation Blog. March 12, 2019. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  22. ^ @PlayStation (April 22, 2021). "PlayStation Now will begin rolling out support for streaming 1080p capable games this week. The rollout will occur over the next several weeks across Europe, US, Canada, and Japan, where PlayStation Now is available" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  23. ^ "PlayStation plans new service to take on xbox game pass". Bloomberg. December 3, 2021. Retrieved December 3, 2021.