Sony is currently ‘testing‘ its Playstation Now game streaming platform in the US. We should see it over here at some point next year, bringing a library of older PlayStation titles to your not-older Sony devices. If it's to succeed there are a few key areas we think Sony needs to get right:

1. Your prices are way off

Nobody was ever going to rent Final Fantasy XIII-2 for $30, you crazy crazy people. Yeah it’s better than the first one and alright, I do enjoy that the combat involves collecting Pokemon, but that won’t distract me from the fact that I can pick up a used copy of that game for about three quid. That used copy is also unlikely to disappear into nothingness after 90 days.

A subscription model is way more appealing. A set fee per month and access to a big list of games. People fall over themselves complimenting the value of Playstation Plus; it would great to see something similar with Playstation Now.

2. This is the future, I don’t want to wait around

After becoming so accustomed to installation times and checking for updates, the immediacy of streaming games still feels like cheating. Cheating is great!

You’re almost there with Playstation Now from what we’ve seen so far, but you can probably scrap this ‘Installing Trophies’ malarkey.

3. Big name games

Okay so Playstation Now doesn’t necessarily need to keep up with current releases - it’s in many ways Sony’s answer to the lack of backwards compatibility on the PS4. However, the Japanese firm does need to ensure that the library of games has some weight about it. For a start, the beta has a surprising lack of first party titles right now. They’re unlikely to make The Last of Us available while also selling a Remastered version on the Playstation 4, but where is the Uncharted series? The inFamous games? What about Heavy Rain? Little Big Planet?! Put some whopping first party names on the table Sony - you’ve got some rather good ones.

4. Try before you buy

Want to get more people talking about Playstation Now? Offer some way for people to try out the service before signing up. Streaming video games is a scary new prospect and plenty of people (myself included) are worried that it’s going to be a bit rubbish. Convince us otherwise!

5. Latency and video quality. Latency and video quality. Latency and video quality.

Without a doubt, the biggest hurdle PlayStation Now must overcome is input lag. Having to compensate for an obvious delay between a button press and the relevant action happening in-game isn’t fun; neither is having your playtime interrupted by an inconsistent video stream, or seeing a noticeable drop in quality as you admire your surroundings.

As a result, your experience with Playstation Now is going to very much depend on where you live and what sort of connection speed you have access to. Sony is currently recommending users have a "steady internet connection between 5-12Mbps", but that won’t guarantee you’ll avoid the same problems. A lot of the footage we’ve seen come out of the North American Beta looks promising, but we’ve also heard beta testers complain that the delay is making it difficult to play certain types of games. Most of that video has also come from outlets or individuals with better-than-your-average connections - is that a fair representation of the service that will eventually launch across multiple regions? Probably not.

Sony has certainly got the means to push video game streaming in a big way, and it's got the library of games to draw upon, but the final challenge will be that infrastructure. For the time being, PlayStation Now is unlikely to completely match the experience of playing the game locally, as nature intended, but how close can it get?

New stuff to check out

9 Comments

To add your comment, please login or register

User Comments

BritishWolf's Avatar

BritishWolf@ tvr77

Oops so it does. Must have had too much coffee when I seen that
Posted 20:03 on 29 August 2014
EverTheOptimist's Avatar

EverTheOptimist

When I first heard about Playstation Now I naively assumed it would be like Netflix for games with a monthly fee and I got properly excited. The more that emerges about this the less I care though. The potential is there but I need to be won over.

That pug is killing me.
Posted 16:35 on 29 August 2014
fattpuss's Avatar

fattpuss

After giving Remote play a go over the internet on my terrible 1.5mb upload speed and still being able to drive around and have a bit of a laugh on watchdogs, I'm very hopeful for Playstation Now.

Lets not forget Sony bought Gaikai, something that was going to be competition to Onlive until it was bought, and supposedly had some quite impressive proprietary compression algorithms.
Posted 16:34 on 29 August 2014
Manguy17's Avatar

Manguy17

Hope Sony don't mess this up. The failure of Onlive made sense, and at the very least it proved it was possible. If a leader in the industry cant do it right it may convince the public to give up on the idea entirely, which would be a real shame.
Posted 16:28 on 29 August 2014
whatishappening's Avatar

whatishappening

PS Now needs work for sure. nowher near convincing
Posted 16:20 on 29 August 2014
tvr77's Avatar

tvr77@ BritishWolf

Your actually wrong It says

"PlayStation Now is going to very much depend on where you live"

Meaning it will very much depend on where you live.
Posted 16:11 on 29 August 2014
coletrain's Avatar

coletrain@ BritishWolf

It reads just fine to me dude: "As a result, your experience with PlayStation Now is going to very much depend on where you live and what sort of connection speed you have access to."
Posted 16:09 on 29 August 2014
BritishWolf's Avatar

BritishWolf

Noticed it says "very much where you live" when it should say "vary". Not trying to sound pedantic :)
Posted 15:58 on 29 August 2014
Tulipanzo's Avatar

Tulipanzo

A Playstation Now article that carefully considers all issues and doesn't just complain about pricing!?
Inconceivable!
Posted 15:42 on 29 August 2014
View Full Site