• PlayStation Now is a Netflix-style video game subscription service
• Allows streaming of a select library of PS3 games
• Previously only available on PlayStation consoles and some smart TVs
• Now available on Windows PCs
Playing video games has gone mainstream, it’s one of the fastest growing hobbies.
But to casual gamers who want a premium experience the initial expense of buying a new console can be a costly barrier to entry. It doesn’t have to be.
Now you can play premium PlayStation 3 games without a PlayStation. All you need is a Windows PC, a DualShock 4 controller and a subscription to PlayStation Now game streaming service.
One of the great advantageous of owning a home games console such as a PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo is that they each have a library of top quality games that are exclusive to that specific platform.
The PlayStation 3 has had some outstanding titles released for it including the critically and fan acclaimed post-apocalypse zombie thriller The Last of Us and brutal Greek legends action romp God of War III.
Historically if you wanted to play these you had to own a PS3, but parent company Sony see a future in a different business model for gaming – game streaming. They believe in it so much that back in 2012 they spent $330 million on cloud gaming company Gakai.
Gakai has given them the technical expertise to build the infrastructure to launch PlayStation Now which works similarly to other cloud based services like Netflix and Spotify. The benefit is clear, now anybody can play PlayStation games without having to actually own one.
How PlayStation Now works.
Traditionally PlayStation games are played locally, on a console in the same room as you. With PlayStation Now you play games remotely. To do this you use the PS Now app on a Windows PC, smart TV, or PlayStation with an internet connection. Games are run at a massive server farm, these supercomputers perform all the processing of the PlayStation games. When you press buttons on the controller it sends the commands to the server farm, which responds to your instructions and sends back the required video footage of the game. This happens almost instantaneously so the experience should feel like you are playing on a PlayStation that is right in front of you with the added benefit that you don’t have to wait for games to load.
The recommended specs for running PlayStation Now on a Windows PC are:
- Windows 7 (SP1), 8.1 or 10
- 3.5 GHz Intel Core i3 or 3.8 GHz AMD A10 or faster
- 300 MB or more; 2 GB or more of RAM
- Sound card; USB port
To be able to control the games on a Windows PC you require a PlayStation DualShock 4 controller which connects to a PC using a USB cable or wirelessly using the new DualShock 4 USB Wireless Adaptor.
PlayStation Now for Windows is available now in the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands for £12.99 per month. It will be coming imminently to the USA and soon after to other territories.