Since the end of August 2016, Playstation Now is available in my country on PC. I was waiting for this for quite some time as I’ve seen the developments with Netflix and other video streaming platforms. Gaming in the cloud is the next step and being able to stream games that are not on my harddrive without a price per item (such as video on demand movies) sounded nice.
Flat fee gaming of Playstation 3 games on your pc, as much as you want, this is what Playstation Now is all about. The PC client immediately asked for an update and works after some trying. In my opinion it is still quite a beta product, as a lot of menu’s are not translated (the pop-up notifications are) and controller drivers are not supplied, so I had to use the MotioninJoy drivers to get my Dualshock 3 working.
Dualshock 3 via LibUSB is not working at all. Playstation Now seaches for controllers and refuses to start if no controller is attached. It’s recommended by Sony to have a Dualshock 4. Since I don’t own one and am not planning to buy one, I made it working via a Dualshock 3. In some games such as The Last of Us, the tilt function is not (yet) working. I’ll hope to fix that.
Sometimes you need to take a break but the server kicks you out of the game in order to make room for other players.
Playstation Now has quite some attracting features, as you can use the brightness setting of your laptop (which is not available on the PS3 and not on all tv screens) and you can use a USB headphone without any hassle. Strange thing is that the multiplayer functionality of the Playstation Now games seems to be shut down or give some 8xxxxx XMB errors.
There is no way to export your savefiles, only if you already own Playstation Plus. The option of having a keyboard to chat with your friends is nice, although there is no voice chat option (yet).
Any controller that can be emulated to a Xbox360 or PS3 Sixaxis will do as Playstation Now accepts Xinput. Rumble works fine and input lag on a good internet connection is way lower than I expected it to be. The order of reduction on bad bandwith is always image > sound > controls. Sound get’s pitched lower which immediately is noticeable when the connection is about to drop.
Sometimes the lag is just unbearable. The screen not only stops but also becomes more than blocky, Grey, slow and unresponsive to inputs.
Pro’s and con’s aside, it comes down to price. Am I willing to spend 16,99 euro a month for this service? Maybe. If they have a deal or price cut. It’s a recommended service as you do not have to own a console, only a controller. The big titles such as Grand Theft Auto / Red Dead Redemption / Max Payne / LA Noire are missing since Rockstar Games is not on board (yet).
If there are more titles coming and the connection becomes more stable, it’s quite nice.
I am playing titles now that I didn’t even think about buying or you can try them first before buying them second hand. Cloud saving is nice and games start quite fast.
Comparing to services like Utomik, which download the game (partially) to your pc you do not have to wait that long. On the other hand Utomik has the native game engine running so the graphics will be as high as your system support. Playstation Now however does not require super high specs as it runs a video stream to your laptop. So that is quite a pro as well.
I tried Playstation Now with PayPal, but that did not work. I hope they can fix that as not all users have a credit card. PayPal can be used for subscription services.
What strange is that some games show “not available”. That might be that you did not close the game properly, or that the server is full, or some other reason. Nobody really knows it.
- Play anywhere in the world
- Easy installation
- Quite some good games to play
- Cloud save feature
- Ability to set own brightness
- Use a USB headset
- Dualshock 3 with rumble support via Motioninjoy
- Starts quite fast
- Ability to record gameplay without HDCP issues
- Games come in multilanguage versions with subtitles
- No downloading needed before you can play
- Lag on sometimes crucial game moments
- If the connection drops the game is closed in 30 seconds without the ability to save
- Bugs and untranslated menu’s
- Only a few levels of adaptive streaming. It’s sharp or really blocky
- Demands a really fast and stable internet connection. Recommended 11-12 mbit.
- Some games require the tilt function of the controller which is not (yet) available