Home / Opinions / What is PlayStation Now? A guide to Sony’s streaming service

What is PlayStation Now? A guide to Sony’s streaming service

Sam Loveridge

by

ps now

An FAQ for Sony’s streaming service

Sony's PlayStation Now service uses cloud-based technology to stream PS3 titles to your PS4, PS Vita, PS TV and selected Smart TVs, bringing hundreds of beloved PS3 experiences to their new flagship console with the power of online streaming.

First introduced back in 2015, PlayStation Now has seen hundreds of classic games added to the service alongside subtle yet meaningful improvements. Oh, and it's also coming to PC in the near future.

Sony recently confirmed the service is coming to Windows in North America and Europe later this year, bringing all the games available on other platforms along with it.

We've put together everything you need to know about PlayStation Now on PS4 and PC, including guides on subscriptions, games and compatible devices.

What is PlayStation Now?

PlayStation Now is Sony’s game streaming service that allows you to play PS3 (or older) games on your PS4, PS Vita or PS TV on a rental or subscription basis.

It’s a cloud-based service, which functions in a similar way to Netflix or Spotify but for games rather than TV series, music or movies.

It was originally announced back in the beginning of 2014, but is now available as a full service in the UK, US and Canada, which means you can get involved with PlayStation game streaming now if you own a PS4 or select Sony Bravia TV.

PlayStation Now

How much does it cost?

PlayStation Now is available on a rental or subscription basis in the US and Canada. The rental option lets you rent games individually, if there’s a certain PS3 game you want to play. Or you can opt for a rolling membership subscription package.

There are over 300 PS3 games you can rent in the US at present, with prices ranging according to the length of time you want to rent it for.

Prices start at around $1.99 to rent a game for four hours. You can rent a game for four hours, 30-days or 90-days. For a 90-day rental you’re looking at a maximum price of $14.99.

As for the subscriptions, a rolling one-month membership costs $19.99 , or you can pay $44.99 for a three-month membership. The three-month membership option for PlayStation Now saves you around $4.99 a month.

In the UK you can rent titles on an individual basis or pay a monthly fee of £12.99 to access all available games on the service.

We can't see any rhyme or reason as to the pricing of individual games, so you'll have to peruse the PlayStation Now section of the PlayStation Store to see how much your favourite PS3 game will cost to rent.

Related: PS4 vs PS3

playstation now

Playstation Now on PC

Sony's Gaikai-powered streaming service is making its way to PC later in 2016, bringing with it all the games and features you might find on PS4, PS Vita and PSTV.

In addition to bringing the service to PC, Sony has also introduced a wireless bluetooth adapter for the Dualshock 4, making it easy for you to hook up a controller to a gaming rig.

playstation now

This wireless device will launch in early September for $24.99, compatible with all available PS4 controllers. It can also be used for PS4 Remote Play on PC and Mac, meaning you won't have to deal with long USB cables anymore.

In order to access PlayStation Now on PC you'll need to meet the recommended specifications, which we've listed below:

  • Windows 7 (SP1), 8.1 or 10
  • 3.5 GHz Intel Core i3 or 3.8 GHz AMD A10 or faster
  • 300 MB or more; 2 GB or more of RAM
  • Sound card; USB port

PlayStation Now 19

What games do I get access to?

At present there are over 300+ PS3 games available to rent across the UK, US and other territories.

Games included in the subscription option include the likes of: Batman Arkham City, The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite, ICO, inFamous, GRID 2, Saints Row IV and Darksiders 2.

Sony plans to add more games continuously so watch out on PlayStation Now for any additions.

As for the UK, here's the list of games currently available to rent at the time of writing:

  • Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW!
  • Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations
  • Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom
  • Air Conflicts - Secret Wars
  • Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers
  • Air Conflicts: Vietnam
  • Alien Spidy
  • All Zombies Must Die!
  • Alone in the Dark: Inferno
  • Alpha Protocol
  • Anarchy: Rush Hour
  • Anna Extended Edition
  • Anomaly Warzone Earth
  • Aqua Panic!
  • Arcana Heart 3
  • Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!
  • ArcaniA - The Complete Tale
  • Armageddon Riders
  • Assassin’s Creed®
  • Assassin’s Creed® Brotherhood
  • Assassin’s Creed® II
  • Assassin’s Creed® III
  • Assassin’s Creed® Revelations
  • Assassin’s Creed® Rogue
  • Asura's Wrath
  • Atelier Ayesha
  • Atelier Escha & Logy
  • Atelier Rorona Plus
  • Back to Bed
  • Back to the Future™: Episode 1 - It's About Time
  • Barbie and Her Sisters Puppy Rescue
  • Batman: Arkam Asylum
  • Batman: Arkham City
  • Batman: Arkham Origins
  • Battle Fantasia
  • BATTLE OF TILES EX
  • Battle Princess of Arcadias
  • Bellator MMA Onslaught
  • Ben 10 Omniverse
  • Ben 10 Omniverse 2
  • Bentley's Hackpack
  • Big Sky: Infinity
  • Bionic Commando: Rearmed
  • Bionic Commando: Rearmed 2
  • Bioshock
  • BioShock 2
  • BioShock Infinite
  • BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
  • BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger
  • BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma
  • BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma EXTEND
  • BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend
  • Blood Knights
  • BloodRayne: Betryal
  • Bodycount
  • Bomberman Ultra
  • Borderlands
  • Borderlands 2
  • Borderlands The Pre-sequel
  • Bound by Flame
  • Braid
  • Capcom Arcade Cabinet: All-in-One-Pack
  • Cel Damage HD
  • Child of Light
  • Chime Super Deluxe
  • Choplifter HD
  • Class of Heroes 2G
  • Comet Crash Bionic Bundle
  • Contrast
  • Costume Quest 2
  • Counter Spy
  • Crash Commando
  • Crazy Taxi
  • Critter Crunch
  • Cuboid Ultimate Bundle
  • Damnation
  • Dark Void
  • Darksiders
  • Darksiders II
  • Darkstalkers Resurrection
  • de Blob 2
  • Dead Island
  • Dead Island Riptide
  • Dead or Alive 5: Last Round
  • Dead Rising 2
  • Dead Rising 2: Off the Record
  • Deadliest Warrior: Legends
  • Deadliest Warrior: The Game
  • Death Track: Resurrection
  • Deception IV: Blood Ties
  • Derrick the Deathfin
  • detuned
  • Devil May Cry 4
  • Devil May Cry HD Collection
  • DiRT 3
  • DiRT Showdown
  • Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice
  • Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten
  • Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness
  • Divekick
  • Doc Clock: The Toasted Sandwich of Time
  • Dogfight 1942
  • Doki-Doki Universe
  • Double Dragon Neon
  • Dragon Fin Soup
  • Dragon's Lair
  • Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp
  • Duke Nukem Forever
  • Dynasty Warriors 7
  • Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires
  • Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends
  • Dynasty Warriors 8
  • Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce
  • Earth Defense Force 2025
  • Earth Defense Force: Insect Armaggedon
  • Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard
  • Eat Them!
  • echochrome
  • El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron
  • Elefunk
  • Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
  • Entwined
  • Escape Dead Island
  • Eternal Sonata
  • Ethan: Meteor Hunter
  • Eufloria
  • Everyday Shooter
  • F.E.A.R. (Campaign Mode)
  • F1 2013
  • F1 2014
  • F1 RACE STARS
  • Faery: Legends of Avalon
  • Falling Skies
  • Farming Simulator
  • Farming Simulator 15
  • Fat Princess
  • Final Exam
  • Final Fight: Double Impact
  • fLOW
  • Flower
  • Frogger Returns
  • Fuel Overdose
  • Galaga Legions DX
  • Game of Thrones Ep 1 & Ep 2 Bundle
  • Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams
  • Go! Puzzle
  • God of War HD
  • God of War II
  • God of War III
  • God of War: Ascension
  • God of War: Chains of Olympus
  • God of War: Ghosts of Sparta
  • Gravity Crash
  • Grid 2
  • Grid Autosport
  • Guacamelee!
  • Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator
  • Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-
  • Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi
  • Hamilton's Great Adventure
  • Hamsterball
  • Heavenly Sword
  • Heavy Fire: Afghanistan
  • Heavy Fire: Shattered Spear
  • Hoard
  • Hohokum
  • Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds
  • Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • Hunter’s Trophy 2: America
  • Hustle Kings
  • ibb & obb
  • ICO
  • inFAMOUS
  • inFAMOUS 2
  • inFAMOUS: Festival Of Blood
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us
  • Interpol: The Trail of Dr. Chaos
  • Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom
  • Jeopardy
  • Jeremy McGrath's Offroad
  • Jetpack Joyride Deluxe
  • Jimmie Johnson’s Anything with an Engine
  • Joe Danger 2: The Movie
  • Journey
  • Judge Dee - The City God Case
  • Jurassic Park: The Game
  • Karateka
  • Katamari Forever
  • Killzone 2
  • Killzone 3
  • Killzone HD
  • King Oddball
  • Knytt Underground
  • Kung Fu Panda: Showdown of Legendary Legends
  • Kung Fu Rabbit
  • Le Tour de France™ - Season 2014
  • Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West
  • Legasista
  • Legend of Kay Anniversary
  • LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
  • LEGO Batman: The Videogame
  • LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  • LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
  • Lemmings
  • Linger in Shadows
  • LocoRoco Cocoreccho!
  • Lone Survivor: The Director's Cut
  • Lost Planet 2
  • Lost Planet 3
  • Lost Planet: Extreme Edition
  • LUMINES Supernova
  • Machinarium
  • Magic Orbz
  • Magrunner: Dark Pulse
  • Magus
  • Mahjong Tales™: Ancient Wisdom
  • Mamorukun Curse!
  • Mars: War Logs
  • Matt Hazard: Blood Bath & Beyond
  • Mega Man 10
  • Mega Man 9
  • Mercury HG
  • Metro: Last Light – Complete Edition
  • Monster High: New Ghoul in School
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Moto GP 13
  • Motorcycle Club
  • Motorstorm RC
  • MotorStorm: Apocalypse
  • MouseCraft
  • MX vs. ATV Alive
  • MX vs. ATV Reflex
  • MX vs. ATV Supercross
  • MX vs. ATV: Untamed
  • Narco Terror
  • NBA 2K14
  • Nights Into Dreams
  • Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge
  • Ninja Gaiden Sigma
  • Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
  • Numblast
  • Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD
  • Of Orcs and Men™
  • Okabu
  • Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
  • Operation Flashpoint: Red River
  • Order Up!!
  • Overlord 2
  • Overlord: Raising Hell
  • PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX
  • Painkiller: Hell & Damnation
  • Papo & Yo
  • Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode 1
  • Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode 2
  • PID (Peculiar Destination)
  • PixelJunk Eden
  • PixelJunk Eden Encore
  • PixelJunk Monsters
  • PixelJunk Monsters Encore
  • PixelJunk Racers 2nd Lap
  • PixelJunk Shooter
  • PixelJunk Shooter 2
  • PixelJunk Sidescroller
  • Piyotama
  • Planet Minigolf
  • Planets Under Attack
  • Poker Night 2
  • Port Royale 3: Gold
  • Proteus
  • Puppeteer
  • Pure Chess
  • Puzzle Agent
  • Q*Bert: Rebooted
  • R-Type Dimensions
  • Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic (Single Player Only)
  • Ragnarok Odyssey Ace
  • Raiden IV Overkill
  • Rain
  • Rainbow Moon
  • Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time
  • Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One
  • Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault
  • Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus
  • Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty
  • Rayman 3 HD
  • Rayman Origins
  • Realms of Ancient War
  • Record of Agarest War
  • Record of Agarest War 2
  • Record of Agarest War Zero
  • Red Faction Battlegrounds
  • Red Faction: Armageddon
  • Red Faction: Guerilla
  • Red Johnson’s Chronicles: One Against All
  • Red Johson's Chronicles
  • Renegade Ops
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition
  • Resident Evil 6
  • Resident Evil Code Veronica X HD
  • Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles HD
  • Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles HD
  • Resistance 3
  • Retrograde
  • Ricochet HD
  • Rio
  • Rise of the Argonauts
  • Risen 3: Titan Lords – Complete Edition
  • Rocket Knight
  • Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken
  • Rotastic
  • Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny
  • Sacred 3: Gold Edition
  • Sacred Citadel
  • Saints Row 2
  • Saints Row IV
  • Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell
  • Saints Row: The Third The Full Package
  • Sam & Max The Devil's Playhouse
  • Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space
  • Samurai Showdown
  • Savage Moon
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Shatter
  • Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments
  • Siren: Blood Curse Episodes 1-12
  • Skullgirls Encore
  • Sky Dive: Proximity Flight
  • Sky Fighter
  • Slender: The Arrival
  • Sly Cooper Collection
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
  • Snakeball
  • Sniper Elite V2
  • Sniper: Ghost Warrior
  • Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2
  • Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype
  • Soldner-X: Himmelssturmer
  • Sonic CD
  • Sonic Generations
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode I
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode II
  • Sound Shapes
  • Space Ace
  • Sparkle 2
  • Spec Ops: The Line
  • Spelunker HD
  • Spelunky
  • StarDrone
  • Starhawk
  • Starwhal
  • Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark
  • Stick it to the Man
  • Street Fighter 3 Third-Strike Online Edition
  • Strider
  • Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People
  • Super Mega Baseball
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
  • Super Stacker Party
  • Super Stardust HD
  • Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
  • Swarm
  • Syberia
  • Syberia II
  • Tales from Space: About a Blob
  • Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack
  • Tales from the Borderlands: Episodes 1 & 2
  • Tales Of Monkey Island
  • The Awakened Fate Ultimatum
  • THE BACONING
  • The Book of Unwritten Tales 2
  • The Darkness 2
  • The Guided Fate Paradox
  • The King of Fighters XIII
  • The Last Guy
  • The Last of Us
  • The Last of Us: Left Behind
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel
  • The LEGO Movie Videogame
  • The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief
  • The Swapper
  • The UnderGarden™
  • The Unfinished Swan
  • The Walking Dead: Season Two: Episodes 1 & 2
  • The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season
  • The Wolf Among Us
  • Thomas was Alone
  • Titan Attacks!
  • Tokyo Jungle
  • Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters
  • Toy Home
  • Toybox Turbos
  • Trash Panic
  • Trinity: Souls of Zill O'll
  • Truck Racer
  • Twisted Metal
  • Ultra Street Fighter IV
  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
  • Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception - Game of the Year Edition
  • Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
  • Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late
  • Urban Trial FreeStyle
  • Vessel
  • Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown
  • Voodoo Chronicles: The First Sign
  • Wakeboarding HD
  • Warhawk
  • Way of the Samurai 3
  • Way of the Samurai 4
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • When Vikings Attack
  • White Knight Chronicles
  • Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls
  • WRC 4: FIA World Rally Championship
  • WWE 2K15 (Single Player Only)
  • XBLAZE Code: Embryo
  • XCOM: Enemy Within
  • Zack Zero
  • Zen Pinball 2: Zen Pinball Classics
  • Zeno Clash II
  • Zombie Tycoon II: Brainhov's Revenge

PlayStation Now

Will the games look and function like they do on their native consoles?

Any game streamed via PlayStation Now has a resolution cap of 720p, similar to the PS4 Share Play functionality.

That isn’t an issue for PSOne or PlayStation 2 titles though, when they eventually get offered through PlayStation Now.

For the more recent PS3 titles you might notice a slight dip in sharpness or detail. PS3 games tend to run in 720p HD maximum resolution anyway, which includes the likes of The Last of Us and the last-gen version of GTA 5.

As for multiplayer, Sony has detailed that you may be able to play online with players not using PlayStation Now on certain titles, which could mean you’re playing with people running the disc version on the PS3.

The save games for PlayStation Now titles are stored in the cloud, so you can pick up where you left off.

See also: Best PS4 games 2016

PlayStation Now games

Can I earn Trophies on PlayStation Now games?

PlayStation Now will let you earn Trophies just as you could on a disc-based on digital download game on the PS3.

Which devices is it compatible with?

Currently, PlayStation Now is available on the PS4, PS Vita, PS Vita and select TVS. As we mentioned before, the service is rolling out on PC later this year.

Be aware that PlayStation Now is only compatible with Sony-branded Smart TVs at the moment, which should go without saying.

Do I need a PlayStation Plus account as well?

No, just a Sony Entertainment Network Account.

What connection speed do I need?

Sony strongly recommended an internet connection greater than 5Mbps hardwired for PlayStation Now.

In fact, Sony says it requires a steady broadband connection between 5-12Mbps and strongly recommends connecting your device via Ethernet cable.

If you have issues with the PlayStation Now connection, the company also suggests suspending other bandwidth intensive services such as other streaming services.

We've tested it out with a lowly 5Mbps connection and only experienced lag issues when others have tried streaming Netflix content on the same Wi-Fi connection. You need no-one else to be using the internet when you try out PlayStation Now.

We then upgraded our internet connection to TalkTalk Fibre and have since had no issues whatsoever - even when there are multiple other people in the household using the internet.

See also: Best Games 2016

DualShock 4 vs DualShock 3

What else do I need?

In order to use PlayStation Now you’ll need an input device. With the PS4, you’ll have the DualShock 4, or the DualShock 3 for accessing on PS3. Obviously the PS Vita is a controller itself.

With the PS TV, you’ll also need a DualShock 3, but you’ll need one to operate it anyway.

But if you’re looking to access on a Smart TV or 2016 Sony Blu-Ray Players in the future, you’ll need to grab yourself a DualShock 4 (or DualShock 3 with Sony Bravia TVs).

Steve Trolley

July 20, 2015, 3:41 pm

Tried it last night.will never take of due to controller input lag.may be ok on slow games but any type of shooter is unplayable.sony would be better of offering dedicated servers for there multiplayer games.

@nsmartinworld

November 30, 2015, 1:01 am

Does it work with a wireless controller? Can you use two controllers?

Xino

September 4, 2016, 11:14 pm

$1.99 to rent 1 game for 4hours!?
WTF???
talk about greed!

and US PS Now has more games than UK PS Now:/

comments powered by Disqus