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PlayStation Now: Everything you need to know
PlayStation Now was a gaming subscription service that provided access to over 800 games. It was a cost-effective option for those who didn’t want to spend money on games individually, although you couldn’t always play the latest games through a PS Now subscription.
Editor’s note: PS Now has now merged with PS Plus. If you already have a PS Now account, you should have been migrated to the new service back in June, unless you canceled your membership before this date. The new PS Plus service offers three membership plans to choose from, and gives 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.
We’ll go over what to expect from the new PS Plus service, including what benefits you’ll get from a subscription.
What was PlayStation Now?
PlayStation Now was a subscription-based service that allowed you to play hundreds of PS4, PS3, and PS2 games on demand. In its day it was like Netflix, but for PlayStation games instead of movies and TV shows.
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The vast library of over 800 games was updated every month with new games to check out. And even though games were constantly being added and removed, many of the games stuck around for a while, so you always had plenty of time to play through them.
You could play the games available through PS Now on your PS4/PS4 Pro, PS5, or even PC. For a while, PS Now was also the only (official) way to play PlayStation-exclusive games on your PC or your laptop, though this changed in June with the arrival of the new PS Plus service. Granted, games were streamed from the cloud instead of installed directly on your device.
How does it work?
Now that PS Now is no more, you should automatically have been migrated to the new PS Plus service, unless you canceled your membership. There are three PS Plus tiers to choose from, offering the same benefits as your PS Now membership:
- Essential costs $9.99 per month and gives you a few unlocked games every month, online play, exclusive game discounts, up to 100GB of cloud game save storage, and Share Play. The latter allows you to play multiplayer and co-op games with friends or let them enjoy single-player adventures that you own, but they don’t. PlayStation 5 owners also get access to the PS Plus Collection games library.
- Extra costs $14.99 a month and gives you everything in the Essential tier, alongside over 400 PS4 and PS5 games to download and play — it’s essentially a rival for Game Pass, though you won’t get day-one releases from first-party publishers.
- Premium is the tier to get if you want a PS Now replacement, costing $17.99 per month, $49.99 quarterly, or $119.99 yearly. You’ll get the entire PS Now catalog in countries where cloud streaming is available, everything included in the above tiers, and 340 games from the PSP, PS2, PS2, and PS3 eras.
Is PlayStation Plus worth it?
Now that the PS Now service has merged with the new PlayStation Plus service, your PS Now account will have been migrated to the new PS Plus service, with three membership plans to choose from. We already mentioned that 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 want to play a variety of games without having to shell out for them. 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. Bear in mind though that you can only play these games as long as your membership remains active.
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 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 Plus 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 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 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.
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.
PS Now and PS Plus were once two separate subscriptions. PS Now was 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 merged. The new PS Plus service gives 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.
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 Plus games unless you renew your subscription or buy the game.
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