The issue with PlayStation Now – and learn how to repair it

PlayStation Now needs to be Sony’s reply to Xbox Sport Cross, however proper now, it’s being handsomely bested by Microsoft’s subscription service and (even worse) ignored by PlayStation’s personal participant base.

In January 2021, the final official figures that Microsoft shared confirmed that Xbox Sport Cross had amassed over 18 million subscribers – a determine that has seemingly been eclipsed by now because of robust Xbox Sequence X and Xbox Sequence S gross sales all year long.

Sony’s PlayStation Now service, in the meantime, has simply over three million subscribers. That’s regardless of the PS4 and PS5 amassing a considerably bigger set up base than Microsoft’s last-gen and current-gen consoles. PS Now additionally had a two yr head begin over Xbox Sport Cross, which arrived two years later in 2017.

So why is there such a big discrepancy in terms of PS Now subscribers and Xbox Sport Cross subscribers? Is PlayStation Now actually that unappealing? Basically, no, however the execution is missing.

PS Now operates in nearly precisely the identical method as Xbox Sport Cross: you pay a month-to-month charge that allows you to obtain and play a whole bunch of video games. You may even stream video games on Sony’s platform, which proper now is a bonus that Sony’s service has over Xbox Sport Cross – although this would possibly change when Microsoft brings Xbox Cloud Gaming to its console {hardware} within the close to future.

However proper now, it’s laborious to make a compelling case for Sony’s service due to some irritating flaws. It isn’t past redemption, although – actually, it’s an issue that’s really somewhat straightforward to repair, if Sony is keen to make the next adjustments.

It’s time so as to add PlayStation 5 video games 

(Picture credit score: Capcom)

One of many greatest variations between PlayStation Now and Xbox Sport Cross is that Microsoft’s service allows you to play Xbox Sequence X and Xbox Sequence S video games. You may play numerous titles that take full benefit of the facility of the brand new Xbox consoles, and I’ve discovered it to be a good way to expertise next-gen titles like Grime 5, Doom Everlasting and Sea of Thieves.

Actually, there are at present 62 Xbox Sequence X|S optimized video games on Xbox Sport Cross (thanks, Sport Cross Counter), which suggests should you personal both of Microsoft’s new Xbox consoles, there’s loads of shiny new video games to play proper now.

On PlayStation Now, there aren’t any PlayStation 5 video games accessible. Zilch. Nada. Zero. Sony’s service solely contains PS4, PS2 and PS3 video games, the latter of which might solely be streamed and never downloaded.

When Marvel’s Avengers and Borderlands 3 had been added to PS Now in April, it appeared like an ideal win for Sony’s service. However, regardless of having free PS5 upgrades accessible for each titles, subscribers might solely play the PS4 model, one thing which wouldn’t be the case if these video games had been on Xbox Sport Cross. 

Sony wants to begin providing PS5 video games in its PS Now library, then, as there’s little question that such a seemingly easy transfer would entice numerous new subscribers.

Create a premium PlayStation Plus tier 

ps plus

(Picture credit score: Sony)

Xbox Sport Cross isn’t Microsoft’s solely providing in its subscription service. It additionally has the value-packed Xbox Sport Cross Final for shoppers to think about, which incorporates a humiliation of riches and perks. 

Xbox Sport Cross Final subscribers get Xbox Sport Cross, Xbox Sport Cross for PC, EA Play (which incorporates a whole bunch of video games from EA), Xbox Reside (which incorporates Video games with Gold), Xbox Cloud Gaming (accessible on cellular and PC) and numerous perks for a barely larger month-to-month charge. It’s simply the very best deal in gaming proper now, and I’ve touched on the way it’s made the PS5 really feel prefer it isn’t good worth up to now.

Sony needs to be providing a better tier model of its subscription companies to compete with Xbox Sport Cross Final, and one which crucially contains PS Now. PlayStation Plus appears to be the one avenue the place Sony is keen to offer away PS5 titles, so why not create a PlayStation Plus Platinum tier? 

Add PS Now, all the standard PlayStation Plus perks, and throw in a subscription to the net anime streaming platform Crunchyroll (just lately purchased by Sony) to sweeten the deal.

It may not fairly match the worth proposition of Xbox Sport Cross Final, however it could at the least be a begin. I’d actually be eager about a tier that gave me each PS Now, PS Plus and extras for a extra compelling value than the present choice of subscribing to each with no further advantages.

Snag some day one releases

PS Now

(Picture credit score: Sony)

Whereas there’s no probability that Sony will ever supply its first-party exclusives on PlayStation Now on day one like Microsoft does with its titles, it could be good to see PlayStation Now snag some day one releases of third-party video games for its subscription service and add extra present releases basically. 

It’s laborious to disclaim the attract of a freshly launched sport that’s accessible for “free” as a part of your present subscription. I’ve performed so many video games on Xbox Sport Cross that I by no means would have given a passing look to earlier than due to this, so I feel Sony is lacking out on an enormous alternative to snag some day one releases on PS Now.

PlayStation has all the time had an ideal historical past in supporting indie video games, so as a substitute of leaving them to the mercy of the PlayStation Retailer, why not give builders a much-needed windfall by paying to place some titles straight into PS Now? It could additionally assist boost PlayStation Now’s library of video games, which might tend of feeling outdated in comparison with Sport Cross’s lineup.

Slightly would go a great distance 

It’s clear that PlayStation Now isn’t in dire want of an overhaul, then, however a few sensible tweaks impressed by the competitors would do Sony’s service wonders. As of at the moment, PS Now isn’t doing sufficient to entice subscribers to the platform, and solely Sony has the facility to vary that. Let’s hope it acts sooner somewhat than later.