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PlayStation Now: Everything you need to know

PlayStation Now offers tons of top titles, but is it worth the cost each month?
By
May 19, 2022
Playstation Now logo

PlayStation Now is yet another gaming subscription service, giving you access to over 800 games. It’s a cost-effective option for those who don’t want to spend money on games individually. While you may not always be able to play the newest games through a PS Now subscription, there are many great options. 

So what exactly is PlayStation Now, and is it worth it? This article will go over everything you need to know about PS Now to make an educated decision. 

Editor’s note: PS Now will soon be merged with PS Plus. If you already have a PS Now account, you will be migrated to the new service between 22-23 June, 2022, unless you cancel your membership before this date. The new PS Plus service offers three membership plans to choose from, and you will have access to all the same benefits as PS Now, including a selection of classic titles to stream and download and a library of games to choose from.

PlayStation Plus — One Year Subscription

What is PlayStation Now?

ps5 logo review
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

PlayStation Now is a subscription-based service that allows you to play hundreds of PS4, PS3, and PS2 games on demand. You can think of it like Netflix, but for PlayStation games instead of movies and TV shows.

Related: Sony PlayStation 5 review

There are currently over 800 games to choose from. This vast library of games is updated every month with new games to check out. And even though games are constantly being added and removed, many of the games stick around for a while, giving you plenty of time to play through them.

You can play the games available through PS Now on your PS4/PS4 Pro, PS5, or even PC. Right now, PS Now is also the only (official) way to play PlayStation exclusive games on your PC or your laptop, though this is changing in June with the arrival of the new PS Plus service. Granted, games are streamed from the cloud instead of installed directly on your device.

How does it work?

ps now home screen
Paula Beaton / Android Authority
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Once you’ve purchased a PS Now subscription or started your 7-day free trial, you can begin choosing games to download or stream. Over 300 games are available to download to your console, and other games can only be streamed. Whether you stream or download a game, your PS Now subscription includes access to full games and full access to all available online multiplayer modes if a game has them. 

Read also: Finally got a new PS5? Here’s what you should do first

If you’ve purchased a PS Now subscription directly through your PlayStation account, you should be ready to start choosing games to play immediately. If you bought a subscription card from Target, Walmart, Amazon, or any other store, you need to enter your voucher code in your PlayStation account to activate your subscription. 

And if you want to play on your PC, all you need to do is download the PlayStation Now app. After you download the PC app and sign in to your PlayStation account, you’re good to start streaming games. If you start playing a game on your PC and later want to switch to your console, you can do that with no gap in your progress. Just save your game on your PC and load it up on your console. 

If you’re going to be streaming games on your console or your PC, it’s recommended that you have an active broadband connection of at least 5mbps or higher. Of course, the faster your connection, the better your results.

How much does PlayStation Now cost?

You can’t currently sign up for PS Now if you’re not already a member, since the service is merging with the new PlayStation Plus in June 2022. You can still browse the available games on your PC or in the PS Store, and if you’re a current member, you can still use the service as usual until your account is transitioned to the new PS Plus service in June. 

See also: PlayStation Plus — Everything you need to know

The new PS Plus service will have three membership levels to choose from: Essential, Extra, and Premium. Each tier offers different benefits, with Essential starting at $9.99 per month, and Premium being the closest option to a PS Now replacement, costing $17.99 per month, $49.99 quarterly, or $119.99 yearly.

PlayStation Plus — One Year Subscription

PlayStation Now games

ps now may 2022 games
Paula Beaton / Android Authority

The PS Now game collection changes every month. Many games seem to stick around for the long haul, while other games are only available to play for a limited time. If a game is only available for a specific time window, you’ll always know exactly what date Sony will remove it from the service. 

Most games will have ongoing access, which doesn’t mean they’ll always be available to play but rather that they aren’t leaving anytime soon. 

Also read: Everything you need to know about Sony’s PlayStation 5

A few of the best titles available on PS Now include Horizon: Zero Dawn, Outer Wilds, Fallout 4, Doom, The Last of Us, Uncharted 3, and Bloodborne. There are, of course, tons of other great titles to choose from. If you don’t see anything you like, check out the full list of games you can play with a PS Now subscription

Here are a few of the latest additions to the PS Now library of games: 

  • Outer Wilds — Ongoing access
  • Shadow Warrior 3 — Available until July 4, 2022
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse — Earthblood — Ongoing access
  • WRC 10 FIA World Rally — Ongoing access
  • Journey to the Savage Planet — Ongoing access
  • Crysis Remastered — Ongoing access
  • Final Fantasy X | X2 — Ongoing access
  • Spitlings — Ongoing access
  • John Wick Hex — Ongoing access
  • Celeste — Ongoing access
  • Final Fantasy IX — Ongoing access

Is PlayStation Now worth it?

PlayStation Now provides a lot of games for a low fee, and the best value comes from purchasing an annual subscription. When the PS Now service merges with the new PlayStation Plus service at the end of June,  your account will be migrated to the new PS Plus service, with three membership plans to choose from. The Premium tier is the closest replacement for PS Now, giving you all the same benefits.

This service is most certainly worth it if you’re new to gaming. There are over 800 games to choose from, including tons of PS classics. If you’ve just purchased a new PS5 after skipping a few generations, it’s a great way to catch up.

See also: The best PS4 accessories — All the must-have extras for your favorite console

Even if you have played PS games for the past 10 years, you’ll still get a lot out of this service. You can check out smaller games you might have never purchased and tried otherwise. 

And if you have a gaming PC, it just adds to the value you get out of the subscription service. Being able to switch back and forth between your PC and your console is great. Some days you want to game on your PC, and some days you want to lounge on your couch and play on your console. It’s great that you have the flexibility to switch platforms so easily. 

Where is it available?

At this time, PlayStation Now is available in 19 countries. Here is the full list of supported countries and regions:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Luxembourg
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • The Netherlands
  • UK
  • USA

Do you need the mobile app?

There is no mobile app that is dedicated solely to PS Now. In the official PlayStation app, you can click on a link that will take you to the PS Now page. There, you can browse through games currently available with a subscription. Once PS Now merges with the new PS Plus, you’ll be able to view all games currently available on the new service.

We did notice one strange quirk. Even with your PS Now subscription activated and recognized in the app, they will come up at full price when searching for games. When searching for a game in the PS Store on a PS5 console, it will list whether that game is included in a PS Now or PS Plus subscription.

It’s a shame that the mobile app does not show you which games are included with your subscription once you’ve paid for it. Hopefully, Sony will build on these improvements soon.

PlayStation Now alternatives

While there are no alternatives that will allow you to play PlayStation exclusive games, there are similar video game streaming services out there. 

EA Play

ea play
Electronic Arts

EA Play is a great streaming service if you love EA games. You can pay $4.99 per month or go for the much cheaper option of $29.99 per year. Subscribing to EA Play will give you exclusive challenges and rewards, allow you to play certain new releases for up to 10 hours before they launch, and more. PC gamers can also upgrade to EA Play Pro for $14.99 per month or $99.99 per year.

Some of the best games included with EA Play for PlayStation consoles include NHL 2022, Mass Effect Legendary Edition, Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, NFS Heat, FIFA 21, It Takes Two, and more. If you see a specific game you want to play through EA Play, it may be worth it to get the service. But compared to PlayStation Now and Xbox Game Pass, you won’t have access to that many games. It’s also worth mentioning that EA Play is included as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Ubisoft Plus

ubisoft plus
Ubisoft

Ubisoft Plus is only available for PC gamers. For $14.99 a month, you get access to over 100 games from Ubisoft. This long list of games will only grow as new games come out. New games are added to the service on their release dates so you can play them as soon as possible. 

Some of the best games available right now with a Ubisoft Plus subscription include Immortals Fenyx Rising, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (and other Assassin’s Creed games), and Far Cry 6. The service also includes most older titles from Ubisoft’s most popular franchises.

Xbox Game Pass

xbox game pass
Microsoft

Xbox Game Pass has the most to offer out of all the alternatives listed here. With Xbox Game Pass, you have access to tons of old Xbox classics mixed in with new games. As soon as you activate your Xbox Game Pass subscription, you can play all of the new first-party titles that launch on the console. Obviously, this service doesn’t work on PlayStation, but it’s a good enough option for those considering a second console or for those willing to fully switch over to the Xbox camp.

Check out: Everything you need to know about Xbox Game Pass 

A few of the best games available through Xbox Game Pass include Dead Cells, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Gears 5, and FIFA 21. Standard Game Pass has two plans, one for PC and one for console, both costing just $9.99 per month.

Or, you could go for the Ultimate version for $14.99 per month, which includes the ability to play games on your Xbox console, PC, or Android mobile device. Springing for the Ultimate version also gets you tons of other perks, like exclusive discounts, free in-game content, EA Play (console only), and the beta cloud gaming service

Other FAQs

Yes, when you sign into PS Now on a new device — either a new console or a new PC — you can access any game in PS Now and your saved game progress if you’ve already started playing a game somewhere else.

Yep! You will still earn trophies the same way you would if you bought the game.

Right now, PS Now and PS Plus are two separate subscriptions. PS Now is a streaming service for video games. PlayStation Plus gives you free games every month, exclusive perks and discounts, access to online multiplayer for all games you own, and more. In June 2022, PS Now and PS Plus are merging, The new PS Plus service will give you access to all the same benefits as PS Now, including a selection of classic titles to stream and download and a library of games to choose from.

If you’re already a PS Now member, your membership will be automatically migrated to the new PS Plus service between June 22-23, 2022. You can choose from three membership plans with the new PS Plus service.

No. When your subscription ends, your access to any games you previously downloaded or streamed ends. The games may still show up in your library, and you keep the trophies you earned. But unfortunately, you can’t play any PS Now games unless you renew your subscription or buy the game.

Yes, the games currently in PS Now will likely not always be there. Some smaller titles may stick around for a while, but it’s never a guarantee. Just like Netflix, PS Now will consistently refresh content so that its users can experience new games.

Yep! All of the games you can play through PS Now are full versions.

If the PS Now game you’re playing includes online multiplayer modes, you can access the mode just like you would if you bought the game. PS Plus is not necessary for PS Now’s online multiplayer games.