As it stands, what Sony has created with PlayStation Now is pretty amazing. It’s entered an arena in which so many have failed (remember OnLive?) and has emerged with a viable platform for the future of Sony’s gaming division.
That said, there are still some serious kinks to work out. Unless you’re rocking an pretty fast connection, you’ll always run the risk of lag, and the pricing will be expensive for the average gamer – even if the streaming quality and selection of titles has improved over time.
Like I said before, if you’re unsure about the service, try out the seven-day free trial to see how you like it. The worst that will happen is one night of irritatingly slow, jarring gameplay and a few minutes on Sony’s website unsubscribing.
The best case scenario, and the more likely one, is that PlayStation Now will genuinely impress you as a proof of concept and a cheap way to binge-play some older games you might’ve missed on older consoles.
As promised, Sony delivered a slew of games. Picking which one of the 650-plus games to download first is a difficult decision, and the library continues to grow. it effectively functions as an emulator for old games too, nicely circumventing the console’s lack of backwards compatibility.
But don’t treat this like the end-all, be-all choice – because streaming doesn’t take up any space on your hard drive and there’s zero download time, you can jump from one game to the next to your heart’s content.
Ideally, that means taking advantage of the reasonably priced subscription program, even if it’s only for the seven-day trial period. It’s not that I’m opposed to shelling out for content a la carte, but you need to use caution and good judgement before you rent games that you could’ve bought outright for less.
It would’ve been great to escape the slog of buying games and returning them for half their value, but that doesn’t seem possible with PlayStation Now in its current state. Publishers haven’t taken to the idea of putting their latest wares on the service, instead opting to put up classics of varying quality.
The other major problem is that, depending on the strength of your connection, every once in awhile, lag can derail your perfect stream in a first-person shooter or send you careening into a wall in a driving game. Worst of all, if you get booted from your game, you can say goodbye to all the progress you made since your last save.