Games

Playstation Now Hits PC — But Does it Work?

Playstation Now

Does Sony’s PC streaming service live up to the expectations?

Sony’s game-streaming service Playstation Now has made its debut on PC, allowing keyboard and mouse warriors to connect a controller and access to over 400 PS3 games, including some of the biggest exclusives over the past few years. But with any new streaming service launching, we always have to ask the questions: which Playstation exclusives are included as part of the service? Is it worth the money? And, crucially, does it actually work?

PC Gamer‘s Joe Donnelly has been giving the Playstation Now a test-drive and reported their findings. Here’s what they had to say:

Regarding internet speeds

“PlayStation Now requires a minimum connection speed of 5 Mbps. I’m pleased to report that while my connection isn’t a great deal higher than the prerequisite, I’ve been able to stream every game with minimum lag and/or dropped frames, and have been thoroughly impressed by the responsiveness of every game I’ve sampled so far. Load times can take upwards of 60 seconds to connect to a server which is a bit of a bummer, and the absence of a search feature within the main hub is a strange oversight (games are however handily collated in alphabetical order, publisher, genre and so on).”

Quality

“Remote servers host games via 720p video streams running at 60fps, although it’s worth remembering that, despite this, you’re still playing PS3 games. The Last of Us, for example, is the original PlayStation 3 variation and not the remastered 60fps PS4 one. As such, dropped frames, in my experience, were often due to games being hamstrung by last-gen technology as opposed to under-performing streams. Some games exhibited compression artifacts—groups of blurry pixels caused by reduced video feed bit-rates to facilitate streaming—however never to the point where it spoiled the games in question.”

Playstation Now PC

Should you get it?

“Which, for those players who’ve already experienced these games before, is the exact desired effect Sony hopes to achieve here—playing on the novelty of seeing one-time console-exclusives dancing around on PC. There are however obvious drawbacks to this. Expanding its audience is clearly Sony’s main drive, but of the 400 games available on the service, the vast majority are already obtainable elsewhere, and the PlayStation exclusives are the service’s most appealing feature.

“For players who might’ve missed PS exclusives such as Resistance 3 or Ico or Heavy Rain the first time round, there’s a great deal of fun to be had, but for everyone who’s played some of these games, the novelty may wear off quickly.

“So does it work? Again, my connection isn’t much higher than the minimum required speed and I’ve found little issue performance-wise. Is it worth it? One of the obvious benefits of streaming services is that you don’t necessarily require high-powered machines to make them work—the recommended specs can be found here—and PlayStation Now delivers on that front.

If you’re new to PlayStation gaming and have a fast enough connection (and no data cap), PlayStation Now will add a host of timeless classics to your backlog for the price of buying two new games.”

Push Square also gave the service an updated review thanks to its introduction onto the PC platform. You can see their thoughts and the service in action in the video below:

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