Sony announced that its PlayStation Now service will be updated with PlayStation 4 games some time in the future.
PlayStation Now currently allows you to stream games originally made for the PlayStation 3 to your Windows PC or PS4. Sony said in today's announcement that 483 titles are currently available on the service, including smash hits like The Last of Us and Red Dead Redemption, and more are released on a regular basis. That's great if you missed these games on the PS3, but it offers nothing if you're intrigued by the PS4's growing library.
That's about to change. Sony said in its announcement:
We’re excited to announce that PS Now’s catalog is set to grow even further, as we’ll be expanding to include a new platform: PlayStation 4 games. All of the games in the service, including PS4 games, will be included with a single PS Now subscription. We’ll share more information as we get closer to launch, so stay tuned.
In the next few weeks we’ll kick off a private test with PS4 games on PS Now. If you’re an active PS Now subscriber, keep an eye on your email in case you get an invitation.
The news comes shortly after Sony announced that PlayStation Now will drop support for Blu-ray players, TVs, and other devices on August 15 so it could focus on Windows and the PS4. Maybe the company didn't want to deal with the hassle of streaming PS4 games to legacy hardware; maybe it was worried too many people would flock to the service once it added PS4 games; or maybe it was just sick of working with everything but toaster ovens.
No matter the reasoning, it's clear that dropping support for those devices wasn't a sign that Sony was planning to nix PlayStation Now. We suspect Microsoft's announcement of Xbox Game Pass in February might also have played a part in getting PS4 games onto the service. Xbox Game Pass is a lot like PlayStation Now--it streams Xbox games to Windows and Xbox One users for a monthly fee--but it was more committed to current releases.
Microsoft's service also seemed like a better deal. The company wants just $10 per month for Xbox Game Pass, and subscribers will also receive discounts on games they decide to purchase after giving them a test run via the streaming service. Microsoft also said that both last- and current-gen titles would be available, so even though it will have only 100 games at launch, Xbox Game Pass could be more enticing for many gamers.
Bringing PS4 games to PlayStation Now appears to be Sony's answer to Xbox Game Pass. It still has a few downsides, given its $20 per month price tag and the lack of discounts on games, but the service could also use the PS4's growing catalog of critically acclaimed exclusive titles to lure in anyone who's interested in games like Nioh, Horizon Zero Dawn, Bloodborne, and others but doesn't want to purchase a PS4 or PS4 Pro to play them.
That's assuming Sony taps its exclusive library. That would remove some of the best arguments for buying a PS4, though, so we expect the company to either stick with multi-platform games or slowly add exclusives to PlayStation Now when they're a few years old. Neither seems that appealing, but maybe Sony will surprise us by making some of those titles available soon. Until then, at least it's clear that PlayStation Now isn't going anywhere.