PlayStation Now review

Cloud game subscription services have been around for a while, with PlayStation Now’s first iteration hitting our screens back in January 2014. As technology (and internet speeds) improve, these services are becoming increasingly popular. 

PlayStation announced a substantial permanent price cut in October 2019. But just what do you get for your $9.99/mo.? Currently, PlayStation Now offers streaming games for PC and PS4 as well as downloadable options for PS4. At the moment, the library includes hundreds of well-known offerings. The service lets you stream PS4, PS3 and PS2 games and download PS4 and PS2 games. 

If you’re looking for a service like “Netflix for games,” then PlayStation Now might be the service for you. With features such as multiplayer, online gaming, and the chance to play PlayStation exclusive games on the PC, PlayStation Now is a game gateway that can keep you entertained indefinitely. 

Compare PlayStation Now plans

PlayStation Now has a simple pricing structure, with no special discounts, family deals or group subscriptions. It does offer a seven-day free trial period. There are no add-ons, though DLC purchases work the same way as with individually licensed games. If you want to save money, you’ll need to buy a longer-term PlayStation Now subscription, which can save 50% over a month-to-month subscription. 

PlayStation MonthlyPlayStation Now QuarterlyPlayStation Now Annual
Price$9.99/mo.$24.99/quarter or $8.33/mo.$59.99/mo. or $4.99/mo.
Free trial7 days7 days7 days
Number of streamable games800+800+800+
Number of downloadable games300+300+300+

How much is PlayStation Now compared to competitors?

PlayStation Now costs between $4.99/mo. and $9.99/mo. depending on how long you subscribe. Apple Arcade recently launched its Apple-device-only game subscription service at $4.99/mo., and Google Stadia will charge $9.99/mo. for its core experience, Stadia Pro.

Is PlayStation Now the right gaming service for you?

While many cloud gaming services are similar, there are a few key features that make PlayStation Now stand out, like native resolution on downloaded games and seamless DLC content. Its huge library of games with over 800 titles outshines many competitors, and PlayStation Now brings many exclusive games to PC for the first time. 

User experience

PlayStation Now lets you stream and download games from its library if you’re a PS4 owner. While streamed games are limited to 720p resolution, downloaded games run at native resolution on your PS4 or PS4 Pro. PS4 Pro offers up to 4K resolution. 

You’ll also be pleased to know that downloaded games work just fine without an internet connection, as long as you connect the machine to the internet every seven days to re-validate your license. 

You can sign in to your PlayStation Now account on any compatible machine and access all of your games, including saved progress. The platform lets you pick up gameplay where you left off on any of your devices, so if you have a PC upstairs and a PS4 in the living room, you can get out of the way and let others watch the TV without losing progress. 

Device compatibility

PlayStation Now is compatible with the following devices:

  • PS4 with a DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller or other compatible controller
  • PS4 Pro with a DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller or other compatible controller
  • Windows PC with compatible specifications and a DUALSHOCK 4 controller

PlayStation Now features

The 720p resolution cap on streaming and limited release dates for some games may put some gamers off PlayStation Now. But, the huge library, access to exclusive Windows PC games and several useful features make the service worthwhile for many subscribers. 

Online multiplayer action

PlayStation Now offers the same multiplayer features you would normally get from individually purchased titles, letting you play against other PlayStation Now subscribers or players who bought the game on disc or download. You can also invite people to play online without a PlayStation Plus membership. 

DLC and purchased add-ons work seamlessly

Streamed and downloaded games all function with DLC, add-ons and micro-payments, just like their retail versions.

Downloaded games run at native resolution

If you download PS2 or PS4 games to your PlayStation 4, they’ll run at native resolution—up to 4k for PS Pro users.

Log in on any compatible device

Not only can you log in to your PlayStation Now account on any compatible device, but your progress from streamed games will also be there waiting for you. 

The game library is enormous

The PlayStation Now library has over 800 titles, with more added every month.

What to play on PlayStation Now

The library with over 800 games is one of the PlayStation Now’s highlights. You get PC access to several PlayStation-only selections like God of War and Uncharted 4.

There’s a good selection of blockbusters, including several editions of GTA and plenty of family-friendly games, like Costume Quest 2 and LittleBigPlanet 3. You’ll also find PS2 and PS3 games like Dark Cloud and Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: Le Chuck’s Revenge for those trips down memory lane. 

You can earn trophies in PlayStation Now games, just like if you bought the games separately. 

PlayStation Now has a few faults. Your enjoyment of streamed games will depend very much on your internet connection speed and reliability (5 mbps is the recommended minimum speed). The 720p resolution limit for streamed games may annoy some players. The lack of a family or group subscription is an issue for some. Apart from that, PlayStation Now has several attractive features, especially if you’re already a PlayStation fan.

How to sign up

Want to get started with PlayStation Now?

Here’s how to sign up on your PS4:

  1. Navigate to PlayStation Now in the PlayStation store.
  2. Either log in or create a new account.
  3. Make sure you have a credit card, debit card or a PayPal account set up so you can make payments.
  4. Select your billing period, or if you’re a new customer, the seven-day free trial.
  5. When you want to play PlayStation Now games, just open the PlayStation Now app.

How to sign up on PC:

  1. Download the PlayStation Now app from the PlayStation site.
  2. While you’re on the website, sign in or sign up for an account.
  3. Set up payment, either a credit/debit card or PayPal account.
  4. Select your billing period, or if you’re a new customer, the seven-day free trial.
  5. When you want to play PlayStation Now games, open the PlayStation Now app.

The takeaway

PlayStation Now offers over 800 games, by far the biggest library of any of the cloud gaming services. It’s also been established the longest. Add to this the chance to play PlayStation exclusive games on the PC, seamless integration with online multiplayer games and DLC, and you start to see a very attractive set of features. 

The recent price drop of up to 50% is likely to encourage more people to sign for PlayStation Now, and with the invite system, you may well find new opportunities to play online with your friends. 

There are many features that’ll make the service attractive to families with young children, from child-friendly games to the ability to move seamlessly from console to PC with streamed games. Adult gamers will love getting access to blockbuster titles, including online games.

Emily Gray-Fow

Contributing Writer

Emily is a technology, business, and engineering writer with experience in a number of different fields. She is a music lover, and has been a keen gamer for a number of years (her first game was Oregon Trail).