Sony has officially launched PlayStation Now in the UK, but what is it? We explain everything you need to know about PS Now including release date, price, supported devices and features. See also: Sony PlayStation TV hands-on review: Pint-sized micro-console with huge potential.
The PS4 console has launched with a warm reception from gamers. However, the device cannot play older PS3 titles by simply putting them in the disc drive, which is something of a hindrance for players - and that's where PlayStation Now comes in. : Should I buy a next-gen console: Is the PS4 and Xbox One worth it?
Update Feb 2017: Sony has confirmed that it is discontinuing PlayStation Now on a number of devices and will soon only be available on PS4 and PC. 2016 models of Sony Bravia TVs will be discontinued on 1 April (not a joke) and the following devices will be ditched on 15 August:
• PlayStation 3
• PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV
• All 2013, 2014, 2015 Sony Bravia TV models
• All Sony Blu-ray player models
• All Samsung TV models
"After thoughtful consideration, we decided to shift our focus and resources to PS4 and Windows PC to further develop and improve the user experience on these two devices. This move puts us in the best position to grow the service even further," said the firm in a blog post.
What is PlayStation Now?
PlayStation Now (PS Now) is a cloud-based gaming service, similar to OnLive, which will allow gamers to play PS3 titles by streaming them over the internet. Think of it like Netflix, but for games instead of films.
Sony said: "PS Now will deliver blockbuster and critically acclaimed PS3 games streamed via the cloud on numerous Internet-connected devices; giving more people the opportunity to experience the world of PlayStation."
See also: PS3 vs PS4 comparison review.
When will PlayStation Now launch?
Sony confirmed in 2014 that PS Now would launch in the US that summer, with other countries to follow later. At Gamescom 2014, Sony confirmed that the service will launch in the UK in 2015 - there would first be a closed beta that gamers could apply to be a part of, before opening the beta to everyone later on.
Fast forward to today (9/10/15) and Sony has announced that PlayStation Now is now officially available to gamers in the UK, with either a subscription based model or a pay-per-play model.
How much does PlayStation Now cost?
How much the service costs depends on which model you select. Gamers can pay £12.99 per month for unlimited access to the entire PlayStation Now library, with a seven day free trial to begin with. If that doesn't appeal to you, then you'll still be able to browse the PlayStation Now library and pay between £2.99 and £7.99 to rent games individually. Users are able to rent titles for periods of 48 hours or 30 days.
What devices can I access PlayStation Now on?
For starters, PlayStation Now is available on the PS4, PS3 and PS Vita - but it doesn't stop there. Most of Sony's US 2014 Bravia TV models will also support PS Now, and the firm has said it will also bring the service to non-PlayStation and Sony devices, including a number of Samsung smart TVs.
Supported BRAVIA TVs include:
X94 Series - 75-, 65- 55in
X90 Series - 65- 55in
S85 Series - 65-, 55in
X85 Series - 75-, 65-, 55in
X83 Series - 49-, 43in
How does PlayStation Now work?
Here's what Sony has to say about PlayStation Now: "[the] vision for PS Now is to enable users to instantly enjoy a wide range of full games on the Internet-connected consumer electronics devices they use every day. The accessibility of PS Now means, for example, that PS4 users in the living room can continue playing a game on a PS3 system in their bedroom. Or PS Vita users can enjoy instant access to a game wherever there's Wi-Fi connectivity, such as outdoors, then can switch to a supporting Bravia TV's big screen and play the same game after arriving home."
Gamers will be able to choose between renting individual titles or a subscription which will give access to large quantities of games. PS Now will also support PSN features like online multi-player, trophies and messages.
You just need a Dualshock 3 or 4 controller, a broadband connection and a compatible Sony device (see above).
Read: Xbox One vs PS4 comparison.
What games are available on PlayStation Now?
Sony hasn't given a full list of games for the service yet, but gamers can expect to find games including Beyond: Two Souls, God of War: Ascension, The Last of Us, Puppeteer, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Bioshock Infinite, Final Fantasy XIII, Tomb Raider Underworld, Ultra Street Fighter IV, Dead Space 3 and Mirror's Edge. Sony has said it aims to offer more than 3,000 games in total.