For the first time ever, PlayStation Now might be worth it for me. The price drop and rotating selection of games have shifted the service from a never buy to a maybe, and that’s huge. Is this the beginning of our streaming future, or is it just a less expensive cherry on top of a PS Plus membership?
Since the beginning of PlayStation Now, I haven’t seen the usefulness of it. At $100 annually, it mostly held older games that the company would stream to me. Despite living in our modern technical age, my internet stability can be a questionable thing. When I do download games from the store, the speeds haven’t been that great either.
The change from streaming to being able to download many PS4 games helped change my perception a little. I don’t want to stream games. I want the game to be wherever I am in physical or digital form. I want the best visual quality I can get with as few errors and interruptions as possible and running it locally is always preferable to a stream.
I stream movies and music already, but games are a longer mental bridge to cross. I’m not playing fighting games, but I don’t want lag and buffering. I want that speedy input when I’m playing instead of anticipating where I’ll need to be in two seconds and making my moves for then.
Today’s announcement doesn’t fix my streaming apprehension, but it might get me over the hurdle. The price for PlayStation Now is going from $99.99 to $59.99. Psychologically, that’s the price of one game for a year’s worth of games. I’m mostly in for the PS4 games, but there are some PS2 and PS3 titles I would want to try or revisit.
I know many people hate the idea of a service-based gaming future, and I don’t blame them. It’s absolutely valid, but so is my lack of cash for every new game that comes out. If I know I can probably play them eventually, that value proposition increases as my FOMO starts to decrease. It’s a gamble, but it might be one worth taking.
It would also be good for Sony to continue to make it’s great first-party titles a growing part of the revolving titles. I don’t expect it at launch, although that would be amazing. Think of it like having a movie in theaters and then being able to buy the movie on disc months later. I could wait six months to play Death Stranding and other high profile games.
This move also helps convert more people like me to what I’m told is our inevitable future. Everything is in the cloud, so gaming will be too. Google is betting millions of dollars on this idea, but I’m not sold on it yet. However, making PlayStation Now a better bargain starts to change obstinate minds like mine by getting me used to streaming games.
Will I sign up? I’m not sure, but I’m seriously considering the free trial. It’s definitely something I wouldn’t have given a second thought not long ago. If it works and some good games keep cycling through, I might give a full subscription a try. That’s a lot more PlayStation Now positive than I’ve ever been, and I look forward to seeing how it will continue to evolve in the future.
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Jason became terminally addicted to videogames after receiving the NES at an early age. This addiction grew to include PC gaming and was cemented with the launch of the PS2. From then on, he was afflicted with epic RPGs, tense shooters, and deep strategy games, never becoming skillful, but never able to quit. He continues to play games (poorly) and share his passion for them to anyone willing to listen.