Sony recently made a big announcement for PC gamers everywhere. For the first time, anyone with a Windows computer will be able to play PlayStation 3 games — and in the future, PlayStation 4 games as well.
This news comes as part of Sony extending its PlayStation Now service to the Windows platform. At the start, it will be rolled out to parts of Europe, with North America following shortly. Sony hasn’t said when the rest of the world will be able to access the service.
What Is PlayStation Now?
PlayStation Now (PS Now) is Sony’s video game streaming service. It’s similar to streaming movies on Netflix or music on Spotify. You stream a full game over the internet with PS Now.
Like with Netflix or Spotify, PS Now is a subscription service. So you will pay a monthly or annual fee to access the full catalog of games, which you can play whenever you want for as long as you want.
And yes, you can play multiplayer games on PS Now (like these awesome online racing games), just like you would if you had an actual disc of the game.
Minimum Requirements to Use It
Naturally, streaming video games over the internet requires some serious hardware. The most important of those is your internet connection. Sony says you need at least a steady 5 Mbps, and recommends anything between 5-12 Mbps.
All games run at 720p HD resolution. At the moment, you cannot get 1080p Full HD games on PS Now, according to Sony.
As for your computer’s hardware, here’s what you need:
- Windows 7 (SP1), 8.1, or 10.
- 3.5 GHz Intel Core i3, 3.8 GHz AMD A10, or faster.
- 300 MB disk space.
- 2 GB RAM.
- Sound card and USB port.
- PlayStation DualShock controller.
If you meet all those requirements, download the PS Now Windows app to get started.
Download — PS Now for Windows
How Does It Perform?
Trusted Reviews found that it worked well with a 5 Mbps connection when it was the only app using internet access. Remember, Windows 10 wastes internet bandwidth, so switching off some of those tasks might help boost your gaming speed.
A few Redditors have had mixed reviews. Those with connections better than 15 Mbps have had no issues with PS Now at all. Those with 5–10 Mbps had several bad experiences earlier. But in the past couple of months, gamers who used the service with speeds of 5 Mbps found the performance to be good enough.
If you’re on a limited data plan, then this is the number you need: 3 GB per hour. Sony hasn’t officially said how much data PS Now uses, but it says you can expect it to consume as much as watching HD videos. The 3 GB per hour number is Netflix’s estimate for streaming HD videos.
How Much Does It Cost?
With the PS Now, you have to account for the cost of the service as well as the cost of a controller. You can’t play on the PS Now app without a controller.
PS Now has two subscription plans at the moment:
- $19.99 per month.
- $99.99 per year.
Naturally, the annual plan is far cheaper and makes more sense. If you aren’t sure how it will work, first test the free 7-day trial of PS Now.
Sony announced the DualShock 4 Wireless USB Adapter, which makes it far easier to connect the controller to your computer. It costs $25 though (CA/UK).
Bottom line: if you’re a PC gamer without a PlayStation, you’re looking at a total cost of $172 for the annual package, with $72 being a one-time fixed cost for the controller and adapter.
Which Games Can I Play
Over 200 of those games are already available on Windows. However, buying PS Now might work out economically nonetheless, if you don’t have the Windows titles with you.
Here’s a list of 128 games that are PS Now exclusives:
- Anarchy: Rush Hour
- Armageddon Riders
- Asura’s Wrath
- Atelier Ayesha
- Atelier Escha & Logy
- Atelier Rorona Plus
- Back to Bed
- Baseball Stars 2
- Baseball Stars Professional
- Battle Princess of Arcadias
- Bellator MMA
- Ben 10: Omniverse
- Ben 10: Omniverse 2
- Bentley’s Hackpack
- Big Sky: Infinity
- Bionic Commando Rearmed 2
- Capcom Arcade Cabinet: All-In-One Pack
- Cel Damage HD
- Choplifter HD
- Comet Crash: Bionic Bundle
- Counter Spy
- Cuboid Ultimate Bundle
- Darkstalkers Resurrection
- Dead or Alive 5
- Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate
- Deadliest Warrior: Legends
- Deadliest Warrior: The Game (No DLC)
- de Blob 2
- Deception IV: Blood Ties
- Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice
- Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten
- Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness
- Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce
- Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard
- El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron
- Fighting Vipers
- Frogger Returns
- Fuel Overdose
- Galaga Legions DX
- God of War: Ascension
- God of War: Chains of Olympus
- God of War: Ghost of Sparta
- God of War HD
- God of War II HD
- God of War III
- Greg Hastings Paintball 2
- GripShift v2.0
- Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi
- Heavy Rain
- Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational)
- Hustle Kings
- Infamous 2
- Infamous 2: Festival of Blood
- Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad
- Jimmie Johnson’s Anything with an Engine
- Killzone 2
- Killzone 3
- League Bowling
- LocoRoco Cocoreccho
- Madagascar 3: The Video Game
- Magician Lord
- Mamorukun Curse
- Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond
- Mega Man 9
- Mega Man 10
- Mercury Hg
- MotorStorm: Apocalypse
- MX vs. ATV Alive
- MX vs. ATV: Untamed
- NBA JAM: On Fire Edition
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma
- Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge with Online Pass
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
- Order Up!
- PixelJunk Racers: 2nd Lap
- Planet Minigolf
- Pure Chess
- Ragnarok Odyssey Ace
- Rainbow Moon
- Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One
- Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault
- Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty
- Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time
- Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus
- Resident Evil Code: Veronica X
- Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles HD
- Ricochet HD
- Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game
- Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny
- R-Type Dimensions
- Samurai Shodown
- Shadow of the Colossus
- Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution
- Siren: Blood Curse Episode 1-12
- Skydive: Proximity Flight
- Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
- Söldner X2 – Final Prototype
- Space Ace
- Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
- Super Sidekicks
- Tales from Space: About a Blob
- The House of the Dead 4
- The King of Fighters ’94
- The King of Fighters XIII
- The Last of Us
- The Last of Us: Left Behind
- The Sly Collection
- Ultra Street Fighter 4
- Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
- Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
- Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
- Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown
- Wakeboarding HD
- Wheel of Fortune
- White Knight Chronicles International Edition
- Zen Pinball 2: Classics
You won’t get all the new games through this. For instance, most of the essential PS4 games will still require you to have a PlayStation 4. But it’s nice to get PS3-and-earlier games easily on your PC. Remember, you can always play PS2 games with an emulator.
Are You Going to Buy PS Now?
The decision to purchase PS Now or not is not just a fiscal one. After all, the Uncharted series is cinematic gaming at its finest. The God of War franchise revolutionized gaming. And Heavy Rain might be the greatest video game ever made. You can play all of those with PS Now.
Will you subscribe to PS Now? If you’re an existing subscriber, how is it working out for you? Let’s talk money and games in the comments below.