PlayStation Now, Sony’s game-streaming is a neat idea: Play games without ever having to download them. Play them on a PC without ever owning a PlayStation 4. It’s a neat idea, but it ignores the reality of how unreliable, unsteady, and poorly-distributed our broadband connections are in the United States. So Sony is making a big change that will make the service appealing to, and more accessible for, a huge chunk of the gaming audience: You can now download a bunch of PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 2 games and play them right on your system.
Sony says that “almost all” PlayStation 4 titles on PlayStation Now, along with all the PS2 games on the service, can be downloaded. This, unfortunately, doesn’t include PlayStation 3 titles at this time. Downloaded titles will support DLC and add-on content. They’ll play at full resolution on your home console, just like any other downloaded game, rather than the decreased resolution and fidelity you see when streaming games.
This all makes it look a lot more like Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service. Even more so when you take into account the promo pricing going on right now, which gets you the service for $10 for the first month (down from $20) or $100 for a full year.
There are a couple caveats worth noting, though. While you won’t need a PS Plus subscription to play multiplayer games, you do need one to transfer cloud saves between the streaming and downloadable versions of these games. Your console will also have to check in with Sony every few days to make sure you’re still a PlayStation Now subscriber.
If Sony can get that monthly price down to $10 permanently and get PlayStation 3 games included in the downloadable list, they’ll have a service to be reckoned with, and something to give Microsoft a run for its money. Right now, Xbox Game Pass might still be the better service, but being able to download PS4 and PS2 games makes PlayStation Now a lot more appealing.
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