Cloud gaming is on the rise with more and more companies getting into the bandwagon and flying over the cloud. With these companies coming up with new services, understanding what services they’re offering is also getting complicated. As they say, too many choices can ruin the whole thing. The console gaming giant PlayStation is offering PS Now, their own cloud gaming services to compete with Microsoft’s Xbox cloud and Google Stadia. But is it any good?
PlayStation has always been the leader in the console gaming industry. The recently launched PlayStation 5 is already towering over Xbox Series X in terms of sales. With these great performances, one would expect Sony’s cloud gaming service to be exceptional. But sadly, it is not. And that is disappointing to me.
What PS Now offers
Like the Xbox Cloud and unlike Google’s Stadia, PS Now has limited their offering for a smoother, consistent cloud gaming experience. This means that you won’t be able to play Last of Us on your smartwatch using Sony’s cloud tech, but you’ll be able to play most of their games on your PC.
PS Now offers the largest selection of games that can be played on the cloud compared to its competitors, around 800 games! No other cloud gaming service comes close to this. Microsoft’s cloud gaming service offers 199 games at the time of writing this article. Stadia has 35-40 games (more on the way).
With PS Now you can play PS2, PS3, and PS4 games on your PC or your PS4. All you need is a Dualshock 4 controller or any other compatible controller and the PS Now app (with the subscription) and you can start playing.
Who’s this for?
Why should you get PS Now? Here’s the thing; A major part of Sony’s success is from the brilliant exclusive games they offer. Uncharted, Last of Us, Days Gone, God of War, Spiderman, and so many more. For me and many people, getting to play these games is perhaps the biggest factor in buying a PlayStation.
So what if you have a PC and an Xbox? Should you get another console and make two rivals sit at the same house? The West is too small for two gunslingers. This is where PS Now comes in. Have a PC and an Xbox as your primary device and if you want to play the latest (and exclusive) Spiderman game, get the PS Now subscription and play it on your PC. Or if you want, play Crash Bandicoot for the PS2.
This is how you can make the most out of PS Now services. With that said, this is all you are getting from Sony. Sony has always been a company that gives more than what they ask for. But surprisingly, this is not the case here, and it baffles me.
What I don’t like about PS Now
The biggest problem with this service is how Sony has priced the service. PS Now price starts at $9.99 per month and the yearly plan costs $59.99. Sounds decent, right? No. Because just the PS Now service is useless.
You need to have access to PS Network to use PS Now, and for that, you need to pay another $9.99 a month to get PS Plus. So the actual cost of PS Now climbs to ~$20 a month. This price tag is a lot, especially for what you are getting. The price to feature ratio is perhaps the worst here amongst all the other cloud gaming services.
The reason I call it a terrible offering from Sony is because what the competitors are offering, even the small ones are much better than anything from Sony in cloud gaming. Here are some competitors’ offerings in the US.
Google Stadia offers a free-tier that is restricted to 1080p gaming. You need to have the games in their library or buy them separately to play them.
Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud offers streaming games on your Android mobile phones with support for PC and iOS coming soon. All the services are included in their Ultimate Game Pass which costs $15 a month. You can get a 3-months trial for just $1.
Shadow gaming is an independent cloud gaming service provider that offers a high-end virtual machine for you to not just play games but use it however you’d use a PC all for just $12 a month.
You get the idea. Maybe if Sony would have bundled both and kept it under $15 a month, perhaps then it would have been a great service. Also, if you pay for the yearly subscription and want to cancel it, don’t expect any refunds because it is clearly stated in their FAQs that if you cancel your plan, your services will be cancelled swiftly, but there won’t be any refunds.
PS Now is good for someone who wants to play exclusive Sony titles on their PC without getting a PlayStation. Or it is for people who want to play some OGs like Gran Turismo 4, Crash Bandicoot, etc who don’t have a PS4 at the moment. Try it out if you want, there’s a trial option that gives you 7-days free access, but you must have a PS Plus subscription.
This concludes the article. But since you are looking for cloud gaming services, here are some articles about them that might interest you:
- Here’s a list of all the popular cloud gaming services that are usable. Take a look.
- Why Shadow Cloud Gaming services is the best cloud gaming service out there (and why I hate it)
- All you need to know about Microsoft Cloud Gaming service
- Vortex Gaming is decent, but this is a huge that keeps me from using it