Sony has announced that you can now download PS Now games to your PS4. Up until now, PS Now has only offered subscribers the opportunity to stream its large library of games, so the reveal that they can now download these games to their PS4 consoles is a pretty big deal. There’s a catch though.
While PlayStation Now users can download games onto their PS4s, not all games are eligible. First off, it’s only PS4 and PS2 games that can be downloaded, with PS3 games still being streaming only. On top of that, the new feature only includes select PS4 games, though it does look like all PS2 games are up for grabs. You can stream and download eligible titles at the same time, and a PS Plus subscription is not required to play multiplayer on these titles. Even if you’re playing downloaded games on PS Now, you’ll need to connect to the internet “every few days” to verify your subscription.
The PS4 games that fall under the new download banner include Bloodborne, God of War 3 Remastered, NBA 2K16, and Until Dawn. It’s clear that this is an attempt by Sony to rival Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass and Backwards compatibility, both of which allow users to download a wide selection of Xbox titles.
Sony doubled down on games streaming back in 2012 when it purchased streaming tech company Gaikai, releasing PS Now two years later. The service has received a mixed response since launch, with the latency problems inherent in games streaming being a turn off for some. Microsoft took a different tact, launching its Xbox Game Pass service last year. Game Pass allows users access to a library of Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Xbox Live titles for a monthly fee. Game Pass games are all downloaded and kept on the system, eliminating latency issues that streaming is often plagued by.Game Pass also includes all Microsoft Studios titles the day they are released at retail.
This recent pivot from Sony suggests that perhaps the company is re-evaluating its focus on games streaming (Microsoft is said to be going all in on streaming with its next console), though it’s worth noting that all PS Now games are still available to stream. We’ll have to wait and see whether this new download function is enough to convince PlayStation fans to take a chance on PS Now, though it’s clearly a step in the right direction. The new PS Now features are available now for some, with plans to roll out to the entire player base throughout September