The Playstation Now Beta invites have rolled out. If you are one of the lucky one who gets to test out the service that is set to roll out later this year, then you are one of the lucky ones. Those who were invited will be able to use the service and provide feedback to Sony. For those in the program, it’s a great way to help build the service in the early days, while also getting to see just how well it is working.
For those of us who didn’t make it into the Playstation Now Beta, we only have the information we were provided us at CES a few weeks ago. In fact, it was a surprise that Playstation Now was revealed at CES. Despite it’s sudden reveal, it was an announcement that people knew was coming after Sony purchased Gaikai. Now that purchase has finally come to fruition in the form of Playstation Now.
What Playstation Now does
Playstation Now will allow users to play games in the catalog. It is where that is the most interesting thing. Playstation Now will allow you to play on your Playstation 4, Vita, and 2014 and older Sony TVs. Games can be accessed on these other devices which in particular will resolve the backwards compatibility issue of PS4. The service will allow users to stream PS3 games on the PS4. While this won’t solve the actual issue of the PS4 natively playing the older gen games, but it is a step in the right direction. Essentially, Playstation Now is a streaming service for video games.
What Playstation Now solves
As I already mentioned, Playstation Now will solve the PS4 backwards compatibility issue. It also speaks to a much greater reach beyond those who use consoles. While Playstation Now will enhance experiencing on consoles, it is actually opening Playstation Network (PSN) to a wider audience. Anyone will be able to subscribe or rent games and play them on any compatible device. This means people who may not have been serious enough to buy a console to play a game they have interest in can now play the games console free.
What it requires
Sony is saying that the minimum requirements for game play is a 5MB internet connection, which is rather low. It makes you wonder how well graphically intensive games will play on the service. Playstation Now will be a subscription service. The question is how the subscription model will work. There are some people who would pay $20 a month for a subscription, but I believe Playstation Now will thrive at the $10 a month mark. That said, I think it would be best if there were two tiers of the subscription in addition to the just rental option. This would allow people access to a general library with a huge catalog for a lower fee. Then people who wish to have access to newer games will pay a higher subscription price. All that said, I think it will really benefit them if they offer Playstation Plus users some sort of discount or incentive for also subscribing to the Playstation Now service.
What this really means
Playstation is being forward thinking. The PS4 has been a success for Sony and they aren’t trying to mess things up. By working on Playstation Now, so early on in the game they are appeasing the consumer base that wants backwards compatibility, rentals, and a rotating catalog. With all the new users coming to Playstation Now, Sony will be growing PSN. They are also setting everything up for the time when consoles will fade. This is an inevitability even if it isn’t coming soon. Allowing Playstation Now to grow, work out the kinks, and solidify their place in the gaming infrastructure early on will make the transition away from consoles easier. They will have a system in place with likely a large catalog by then. It is a very smart move on their part as it really benefits everyone currently.
What do you think about Playstation Now? How do you think it will run?