Sony’s attitude is astonishing, given that PlayStation Now is a good service, and has the potential to be even better. However, while Xbox Game Pass offers fewer games, there is a credible argument that it is still superior service, offering new games, wider availability, and more consistent features. It has seen significant improvement over the past few months, while PlayStation Now has offered a lot since its inception.
PlayStation could now be a major selling point for the PS5, if only Sony would bow to the service’s vast library, excellent functionality, and reasonable prices. Here’s how the service can make meaningful improvements during the next console generation.
A streaming pioneer
In a way, PlayStation Now is the off-label core of mass-market cloud gaming. When PlayStation 4 first surfaced, fans were disappointed to find that backwards compatibility would be essentially impossible. The PS3’s CPU originally had a different architecture than the PS4’s, so there was no way to run PS3 games on the system.
Sony’s proposed stopgap was something no other major gaming company had seen before: streaming entire games over the Internet. Instead of changing the PS4’s architecture, Sony felt that it could satisfy consumer demand (and make money as expected) by running PS3 games remotely, then streaming them directly to the players’ PS4. . The service, named PlayStation Now, was launched back in 2014 with around 20 PS3 titles; Now, there are over 700 games, representing selections from the PS2, PS3 and PS4.
In other words, Sony intended PlayStation Now to solve a backward compatibility problem. Instead, the company accidentally introduced cloud gaming. Now, Google, Nvidia, and Microsoft all have comparable services, although PlayStation Now still beat them all when it comes to how many games you get for a flat membership fee.
Where PlayStation is now reduced
PlayStation Now features a stellar selection including Batman: Arkham Series, Red Dead Games, Bloodborne, Control, Infamous Series, Racket & Clank PS3 entries, Hallow Knight, Shadow of the Shamb Rider and beyond. And if you don’t like those, there are hundreds of other options, from big-name blockbusters to classics, to beloved indie fare. The games revolve on somewhat unpredictable rhythms, but this is hardly unique to PlayStation.
The service costs between $ 5 and $ 10 per month, depending on how many months you are prepared to pay. Provided you have a very strong internet connection (at least 5 Mbps down, though nothing else in the 25 Mbps range will hurt), the service runs beautifully on both PS4 and PC.
Then, why does Sony reduce this service and how difficult is it to use?
First of all, it’s not easy for Sony to figure out which games are on PS Now – or what those games might be. The official PlayStation Now page did not mention the game selection, giving players a “shuffle”Latest gameSection instead. At the time of writing (September 11), the page was already weeks old, advertising that some games would only be available until August 31.
When you click “View All Games”, there is a white-text-on-black background list you get – no box art, no game description, no link to individual game pages and no prompts How long a game can be available. The browsing experience in the PS Now app is better, but I wonder how many people have tuned in well before signing up for the seven-day free trial (known as the free trial, Is very stingy).
Sony has also worked hard to limit the availability of PlayStation Now, rather than expanding it. Earlier, the app was available on PC, PS3, PS Vita, PS4, Sony Blu-ray players and various smart TVs. Now, only PC and PS4 are left. While I don’t think many people are clamoring to play PS Now on PS Now these days, Smart TV integration was a forward-thinking feature, and it’s disappointing that Sony (and consumers) didn’t take full advantage of it. Similarly, there is no PS Now app for smartphones or tablets, where it can be a natural fit with apps like Stadia and GForce Now.
Downloading games through PS Now is also a deceptive process. You can download the game for enhanced performance – but only a few PS4 titles, and only on PS4. You can’t download anything for PC, and you still have the option of streaming all PS4 games. It is a misleading, incompatible system that does not take full advantage of available hardware.
There is also common knowledge, justified or not, that Sony has not put so much effort into PlayStation Now. It has not received any major upgrades since the ability to download PS4 games last year. We know that the functionality will be available on the PS5, but it does not appear that the PS PS will take advantage of the PS5’s more powerful hardware in any significant way. Likewise, there is no word about the PS5 title coming to PS Now, either down the road or down.
Why Xbox Game Pass Succeeds
In contrast, Xbox Game Pass is a more comprehensive service. You pay between $ 10 and $ 15 per month, depending on the options you want (PC games, streaming games on Android devices, etc.), then choose from a library of over 100 titles that you can use on your Xbox One Can download on On Xbox One or PC, you download the game; On Android devices, you stream them. Move files to the platform, and many games are available on all three systems.
In addition, Microsoft has made Xbox Game Pass a major part of its marketing strategy. All first-party Xbox titles, from Gears 5 to Wasteland 3, are available as part of the Xbox Game Pass from the day they launch. Xbox Series X will continue this trend like big titles Hello infinite And Approved. Although backward compatibility is not as big of a focus for Xbox Game Pass, you can still play a variety of original Xbox and Xbox 360 games – and we already know that every single Xbox One game on the service is available for both Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X will be playable on.
In short: Microsoft is better able to tell not only what Xbox Game Pass does, but what it will do in the future.
However, it is strange that the Xbox Game Pass PlayStation is no longer “better” than it is in terms of game selection or performance. PS is now six or seven times as many games on offer as the Xbox Game Pass, and for the most part, they stream beautifully. There is no reason why PS Now may not be an important part of PlayStation’s strategy, or why it has to exist in this nebulous space between a “backwards compatibility option” and a “full-fledged cloud gaming service”.
PlayStation now has a more comprehensive website, a clear delimitation between platforms, a mobile app and little attention to Sony events, and Sony may find that it was a worthy competitor to the Xbox Game Pass.