[dropcap size=small]A[/dropcap]s of yesterday, Playstation 4 owners got a chance to join the open beta for Sony’s Playstation Now (PS Now) streaming service for the PS4 console in North America after a long-time limited private beta granted to a select few. While the PS4 is the first, it will not be the only device to stream content from earlier generating gaming libraries. The PS3 and PS Vita for instance, will be among several Sony platforms that will also have access to streaming games. PS2 and original Playstation may even be in the works, according to Playstation’s Blog and Senior Director of PS Now Jack Buser.
Streaming paid games is not a new concept; Valve’s Steam service has been around since 2003 on Windows, with the Mac OS having joined in 2010 and with Linux in 2013. But unlike Valve, Sony has not officially stated whether users will ever be able to “own” their games, but rather rent them for pre-determined amounts of time.
Now we do understand that this is a new and even an innovative way to get classic games into the hands of the nostalgic, or even to those who have never played some of these earlier titles from past generations, so we are glad to hear that PS Now is planning on becoming a subscription service, according to Senior Director, Jack Buser. However, considering the prices of entry-level rentals, it seems a little hard to swallow when for just a few dollars more, you can literally get 42x the amount of time you can play the game. Far be it from us to tell Sony what to do with their pricing model, but $4 for 4 hours to play Metal Gear Solid 4 is a little steep for us, especially since we can have the game for 90 days for just $14.99.
But Sony is not without any competition in the matter of streaming games. On the Xbox One side of things, EA has a pretty decent line of their own titles, including Battlefield 4, Madden NFL 25, and FIFA 2014, all for unlimited play for only $4.99 a month as part of their EA Access service. The service even offers subscribers a couple of additional bonuses of 10% off of EA titles for digital download to own, AND EA Access members will be able to download upcoming games 5 days before their release.
EA Access is currently available exclusively to the Xbox One, while PS Now is still in beta currently available only on the PS4, for now. Sony encourages users to provide as much feedback as they see fit to help make PS Now an even better service.