Is Sony ready to start claiming some of the PC market?
It’s been a little more than three months since Sony promised to bring PlayStation 4 titles to its PlayStation Now streaming service, and that promise has finally be fulfilled. On July 6, the PS Now library officially expanded to include 20 PS4 titles. Before anyone sets their expectations too high, keep in mind that the PS4 games added to PS Now aren’t exactly the newest games out there.
All of the following games will now be available for PS Now subscribers:
- Killzone Shadow Fall
- God of War 3 Remastered
- Saints Row IV: Re-Elected
- WWE 2K16
- Tropico 5
- Ultra Street Fighter IV
- F1 2015
- Darksiders II Deathfinitive Edition
- MX vs ATV Supercross Encore
- Broken Age
- Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition
- Grim Fandago Remastered
- Akiba’s Beat
- Castlestorm Definitive Edition
- Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky
- Super Mega Baseball
For those who are unfamiliar with PS Now, it’s Sony’s Netflix-esque streaming service for video games. The service had its full release in 2015, bringing streamable PS3 games to PS4, PC, PS3, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV, certain models of Sony and Samsung televisions, and Sony Blu-ray players. Earlier this year, Sony announced that the service would soon only be available on PC and PS4. PS Now does more than just give subscribers access to its current library of games though, it also allows players to easily transfer their game data from PS Now to their PS4, ultimately creating a friendly ecosystem for players to fluidly switch back and forth between PC and console gaming. These transferable files also ensure players won’t lose progress in a game if they decide to actually purchase the title and play it outside of their PS Now subscription.
The PS4 titles listed above join a vast collection of PS3 titles that were already being offered through the streaming service, which also bumps the PS Now library up over the 500 game mark. When Sony announced in February that its game streaming service would no longer be available on a variety of platforms, including the PS3 and PS Vita, it seemed like PS Now was starting to cut back in a big way. Perhaps the rollback on how many platforms will offer the streaming service is a sign that Sony may want to shift gears and focus on aggressively pursuing some major real estate in the PC space, and less on their older and mobile systems.
Even with a new list of PS4 titles, it’s hard to say whether or not PS Now will be swimming in a sea of new subscribers, and Sony executives are still insisting on keeping their discussions of numbers suspiciously vague. However, players will undoubtedly be excited with the addition of games like Killzone Shadow Fall and God of War 3 remastered. While the games themselves aren’t new, the experience provided through PS Now is. For the first time ever, players can experience the journeys of Lucas Kellan or Kratos on PC, and it is all wrapped in the promise from Sony execs that these new experiences won’t come with major latency issues. This alone makes the service a little more enticing, and provides a sneak peek at what the future could hold if more PS4 titles continue to make their way onto PS Now.
Expanding the PS Now library to include current gen games has the potential to be a wildly successful move for Sony. While PlayStation Network boss Eric Lempel admitted that there are currently no plans to bring new releases to PS Now, Sony has no shortage of dated exclusive games that have stood the test of time while maintaining large fan bases. Making some of these titles, like Bloodborne and Uncharted 4, available on PS Now means the many PC users who don’t own consoles or simply prefer PC gaming over console gaming will now have access to some of Sony’s best offerings.
This is where the gold mine lies—consistently giving PlayStation exclusives a second wind of life by bringing them to PC users for the first time. In these instances, it doesn’t even matter that Sony has no plans for using PS Now to drop new releases at this time. Giving players hope that a wildly successful PS4 exclusive could eventually make its way to PC after having a great run on the console is enough to make PS Now look far more valuable than it ever has before. Not to mention that while PS Now is not currently being prioritized for new releases, Sony could soon start chipping away at how long it will take for a game to make its way to the streaming service following its console launch.
If a consistent stream of PS4 games continues to join the PS Now library every month, the PC gaming userbase might start to consider its subscription a good investment. Who can count how many times PC players complained about their inability to play Red Dead Redemption on their chosen platform, or check out the Uncharted series without dropping hundreds of dollars on a new console to do so.
As of right now though, there’s still a lot more that needs to be added to the service before it gets to that point, and we’ll see if Sony is willing to make those additions.