The issue with PlayStation Now – and the best way to repair it

PlayStation Now needs to be Sony’s reply to Xbox Recreation Go, 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 Recreation Go had amassed over 18 million subscribers – a determine that has seemingly been eclipsed by now due to robust Xbox Collection X and Xbox Collection 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 12 months head begin over Xbox Recreation Go, which arrived two years later in 2017.

So why is there such a big discrepancy in relation to PS Now subscribers and Xbox Recreation Go subscribers? Is PlayStation Now actually that unappealing? Essentially, no, however the execution is missing.

PS Now operates in nearly precisely the identical method as Xbox Recreation Go: you pay a month-to-month charge that allows you to obtain and play a whole lot of video games. You’ll be able to even stream video games on Sony’s platform, which proper now is a bonus that Sony’s service has over Xbox Recreation Go – 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 – the truth is, it’s an issue that’s truly relatively simple to repair, if Sony is prepared to make the next modifications.

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 Recreation Go is that Microsoft’s service permits you to play Xbox Collection X and Xbox Collection S video games. You’ll be able to play numerous titles that take full benefit of the ability of the brand new Xbox consoles, and I’ve discovered it to be a good way to expertise next-gen titles like Dust 5, Doom Everlasting and Sea of Thieves.

In truth, there are at present 62 Xbox Collection X|S optimized video games on Xbox Recreation Go (thanks, Recreation Go Counter), which implies if you happen to personal both of Microsoft’s new Xbox consoles, there’s loads of shiny new video games to play proper now.

On PlayStation Now, there are not any PlayStation 5 video games obtainable. Zilch. Nada. Zero. Sony’s service solely contains PS4, PS2 and PS3 video games, the latter of which may solely be streamed and never downloaded.

When Marvel’s Avengers and Borderlands 3 have been added to PS Now in April, it appeared like a fantastic win for Sony’s service. However, regardless of having free PS5 upgrades obtainable for each titles, subscribers may solely play the PS4 model, one thing which wouldn’t be the case if these video games have been on Xbox Recreation Go. 

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

Create a premium PlayStation Plus tier 

ps plus

(Picture credit score: Sony)

Xbox Recreation Go isn’t Microsoft’s solely providing in its subscription service. It additionally has the value-packed Xbox Recreation Go Final for customers to contemplate, which incorporates a humiliation of riches and perks. 

Xbox Recreation Go Final subscribers get Xbox Recreation Go, Xbox Recreation Go for PC, EA Play (which incorporates a whole lot of video games from EA), Xbox Stay (which incorporates Video games with Gold), Xbox Cloud Gaming (obtainable on cellular and PC) and numerous perks for a barely increased 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 previously.

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

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

It won’t fairly match the worth proposition of Xbox Recreation Go Final, however it will no less than be a begin. I’d definitely 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 extra advantages.

Snag some day one releases

PS Now

(Picture credit score: Sony)

Whereas there’s no probability that Sony will ever provide its first-party exclusives on PlayStation Now on day one like Microsoft does with its titles, it will 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 generally. 

It’s laborious to disclaim the attract of a freshly launched sport that’s obtainable for “free” as a part of your present subscription. I’ve performed so many video games on Xbox Recreation Go 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 a giant alternative to snag some day one releases on PS Now.

PlayStation has all the time had a fantastic historical past in supporting indie video games, so as an alternative 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 may tend of feeling outdated in comparison with Recreation Go’s lineup.

A bit 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 right now, PS Now isn’t doing sufficient to entice subscribers to the platform, and solely Sony has the ability to vary that. Let’s hope it acts sooner relatively than later.