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7 Reasons Why You Should Be Worried About PlayStation Now

7 Reasons Why You Should Be Worried About PlayStation Now

Sony’s recent announcement of the Gaikai-powered PlayStation Now has got everyone very excited. It’s understandable: the promise of being able to remotely stream games is an attractive one, especially when it’s sold under the premise of being able to do it anywhere, from any device. But all is not as good as it seems. Here are 7 reasons why you should be worried about Sony’s streaming service.

1. We Don’t Know the Price

This is a big one: we don’t know how much this thing is going to cost. We’ve been told that you’ll be able to rent individual games, and that there’ll also be a subscription service, but prices are being kept firmly under wraps. There’s no information about whether it will unlimited streaming, or a limited amount. Whether there will be different pricing tiers, or if it will have any ties to PS+. It’s all being kept very hush-hush, which is a little bit worrying. At the moment we’re getting excited for something that could cost over $60 a month: is that something you really want to shell out for?

2. Your Internet is Probably Not Good Enough

The average internet speed in the US is about 7.4 Mbps. That’s just about fast enough for HD Netflix streaming: and that’s only downloading video, not uploading inputs. For PlayStation Now to work well, you’ll need a fast, low latency connection: one that most people don’t have. Oh, and don’t even think about playing games on a cellular connection. Until we’re all on fibre optic broadband and super-fast 4G, you can expect heavy artifacting and lots of lag.  Not exactly an ideal gaming experience.

3. It’s Only Going to be on PS3 and PS4 (At Launch)

Sony have made a big deal of being able to play anywhere: on a Bravia TV at home, and on your phone or Vita when you’re out and about. But at launch, PlayStation Now will only be available on PS3 and PS4. There’s no timeframe for when it will come out on other platforms, so for now you’re going to be stuck with streaming games at home on consoles that can play the games with better quality themselves. Not sure what the point of that is…

4. Sony’s Not Great at Internet Services

Sony’s had a bad history when it comes to internet services. PSN crumbles fairly easily, the network is slow and has had numerous outages (some lasting several weeks). On top of that, their websites and mobile apps are often poorly designed, laggy and glitchy. Perhaps PlayStation Now will be better in this regard (PS4 Remote Play on Vita is certainly a step in the right direction), but based on Sony’s track record I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

5. It’s Only Coming to the USA

For some inexplicable reason, PlayStation Now is only coming to the US at launch. If you live anywhere else (and that’s most of the world), you’re out of luck. There’s also no information about when the service will make its way across the globe, leaving us international folk gazing longingly at the USA’s luck.

6. No Games Have Been Announced

Although Sony have been demoing the platform at CES with The Last of Us, God of War and a few others, no games have actually been announced for PlayStation Now. We do know that it will only be PS3 games (unfortunate for those of you hoping for some retro fun), but we don’t have any specifics. For all we know, the catalogue could rotate every month. There could be a different selection in each territory, or different games for different price tiers. We simply don’t know, and until we do I’d be a little sceptical of what’s on offer here.

7. You’ll Need A DualShock 3 (Even When You’re Mobile)

Obviously, PS3 games were made to played with a DualShock controller. But when you’re out and about, hoping for a quick round of multiplayer while you’re standing in line, the last thing you want to do is pull out your phone, find somewhere to put it and then pull out a DualShock. Yet that’s exactly what Sony want you to do. The DualShock 3 is a necessity for playing games with PlayStation Now, and that seriously reduces the portability of the platform. Sure, it will make for a better gameplay experience, but will you really use a DualShock with your phone?

  • Hates bad writers.

    The price might scare me off, but the internet isn’t a problem for me (though I’m not in the US anyways). Our internet isn’t good enough because people just don’t want a better infrastructure. It doesn’t really matter how much it takes, it’s the company’s themselves that are to blame. Look at Japan’s internet setup, why don’t we have that? Or Europe? Not to mention how grossly overpriced internet is priced, and how poorly it’s serviced.

    Our internet may not be good enough, but that’s certainly not fault of Sony’s, that’s on us for having a crappy infrastructure that we don’t improve ourselves. We should be on par with Japan, what we have is the dark ages for them. Though to Sony’s fault why would it only be in the USA? It has a crappy infrastructure and they know it, Japan could support this with ease. Hopefully budgets in the US go towards improving the infrastructure, and the service itself gets a better price. Right now it simply isn’t viable in the US, though I can hope that with this things being made the pushes for better infrastructure are also made.

  • hesoyamdonMonster

    This feature should have been released in japan first but i think its more of marketing/ sale tactics, initial sony might not get 100,000 subscribers if it was to launch in japan, but in US 100,000 could be achieved, as we know their are some insane ps hardcore who will buy this service at any price. I might be wrong, but lets see how it works, because this service is focused on niches market who spends a lot money on new tech, so lets see how it pays of for sony. Sony focusing in the US brought them a worldwide exposure, now every tech and gaming website is talking about it, alot of ps now gameplay surfing in YouTube, Sony is getting alot of attraction, onlive did this first but it was to early and it didnt get alot media exposure.

  • Escopablobar

    I am not super enthused. Backward compatibility was never a box I needed checked. I’ve more or less played all of the games I wanted to play for each respected generation. This could benefit those who haven’t been longtime fans of Sony platforms and want to experience the classics. For me I’ve been there since the beginning. But, before I cast judgement I will wait for the service’s release. It may be affordable and it may be the revolution in gaming that needs to occur. Who knows.

  • john

    Whoever wrote this garbage is an absolute moron!

  • the7thlevl .

    There’s videos out there of people demoing this service on a Vita without a Dualshock 3, with the controls mapping the same as remote play. So with a Vita, no need for a dualshock. Come on, man. LOL

  • JoeDaniel

    You really think they may charge $60 a month? there’s no way this will be any more than $15 a month, if they expect anyone to use it… This brings focusing on the negatives to a whole new level…

  • Martin Brentnall

    The solution to 7 is to use a Vita instead of a phone.

  • Pingback: Playstation Now | Spiele-Maschine()

  • DarthDiggler
  • DarthDiggler

    This isn’t backward compatibility. 😛 What part of cloud or hosted service don’t people understand?

  • http://bu3ouf91.tumblr.com/ Vincent

    Sony isn’t internet provider mr shaxter, If you mean the PSN is ain’t enough to provide idea like that I have to tell you Sony bought Gaikai to provide PlayStation Now for consumers, Speaking of PSN, Sony promised to improve the services by the time, The big reason why Sony turn the Online multi-player on PS4 as part of PS Plus subscription.

    am I only who think this article is a bullshit ?

  • DarthDiggler

    The reason they charge now is because the PSN for PS4 is more robust than PSN for PS3. At least Sony didn’t have the audacity to require payment to access Netflix, Hulu and other services you already pay for.

    PS+ pays for itself, that program gives away at least $1,000 worth of games per year. Even if that estimate uses MSRP pricing, that is still a great deal of games. If you like only 1-4 of the free games (depending on the size of the game) the service is basically paid for.

    The only people I hear knocking PS+ are people who aren’t PlayStation guys or people that don’t have it. I have had it since day 1 and my download history is huge.

  • DarthDiggler

    The US market is the battleground right now. Sony had leads in most of Europe, Japan is lost for Microsoft, they can’t even release enough consoles there to really generate solid revenues. Sony is wise for courting the US, last gen Japan got preference from Sony and MS dominated the US.

    PS Now going into Beta testing soon, I wouldn’t really expect a roll out until the end of the year at the earliest.

    Onlive had plenty of press, anyone willing to stake a claim in this business gets press. The Phantom got press which was supposed to be an Onlive competitor but turned out to be a keyboard. :)

    Onlive didn’t fail because of a lack of press, maybe a lack of marketing.

  • Krink212

    The ability to play PS1, PS2, and PS3 games on a PS4 isn’t a form of backwards compatibility? You heard it here first. Let’s break down that word, yes?

    Backwards (Adv.) [Bak-werd s] – Toward the past.

    (PS4 backwards would mean PS1,2 and/or 3.

    Compatibility (Adj.) [Kuh m-pat-uh-buh l-i-tee] –
    A. (Of Software) capable of being run on another computer without change.
    B. (Of Hardware) capable of being connected to another device without the use of special equipment or software.

    PS Now is a streaming service from the cloud, all it requires aside from the fee is internet connection above 5Mb/s. In no way is that a change to the game itself, nor does a cloud service qualify for special equipment/software as nothing is internally modified for the PS4. If you argue that PS Now is a special software or change, than you’re also arguing digital downloads are as well. Simply put, PS Now is a form of backwards compatibility, while it may not be the most ideal form of it, it still is. We all knew that via current hardware, the PS4/Xbox One are not capable of backwards compatible through PS3/360 Discs, not even digital downloads are currently available for most. Games like Flower required coding/porting which can be argued as ‘change’.

    I rest my case.

  • Lance Legstrong

    I really hope you don’t get paid for writing articles.

  • kumagoro

    No. Backward compatibility is the capacity to use a software without any modification in a new generation console. Emulation nor game streaming is considerate backward compatibility.

  • hesoyamdonMonster

    Sony themselves stated that PS NOW isnt the solution for backward compatibility.

    http://www.psu.com/a022126/PlayStation-Now-is-not-the-answer-to-backwards-compatibility-says-Sony-

  • hesoyamdonMonster

    thanz for the replay!!

  • hesoyamdonMonster

    Sony themselves stated that PS NOW isnt the solution for backward compatibility.

    http://www.psu.com/a022126/PlayStation-Now-is-not-the-answer-to-backwards-compatibility-says-Sony-

  • JimmyNice

    7 ways to immediately destroy this article

    1. We Don’t Know the Price – They are in this to recreate a Netflix type model for gaming… you can bet that exact phrase was uttered around a board room table.

    PS+ is $4.17 a month (cheaper with subscription) and look what you get. Look at the prices for Netflix or Sony’s own services like Music Unlimited… hell even the new WWE service with their entire back catalog and every new PPV of the year is only $10 a month… why the hell would you kill a service by making it $60 a month. Sony’s not stupid.

    So I would expect between $10 to $15 a month for a large library of games for PS1, PS2 and PS3 games that are 3 years old or more. Newer games will be there to rent individually and as they get older they’ll fall into the main library. Games should rent at similar levels to the pricing on Video Unlimited (between $1.50 to $5 depending on size or time rented)

    2. Your Internet is Probably Not Good Enough – They announced during the event that 5mbs is the recommended amount for a good experience… not the minimum… the recommended. You just said the average is 7.4mbs. case closed.

    3. It’s Only Going to be on PS3 and PS4 (At Launch) – PS3, PS4 to start and all new Bravia TV’s and PS Vita this year. They didn’t specify the anytime line for the others, just to follow because they allow themselves to launch a massive product… remember they are starting a Beta already this month. AND had it up and running for people live at the show.

    4. Sony’s Not Great at Internet Services – That’s why they BOUGHT SOMEONE WHO WAS!!! 380 million for Gaikai wasn’t for nothing.

    5. It’s Only Coming to the USA – USA and Canada (I’m in Canada so this is important to me!) and they’ve already said in an interview after the show that Playstation Now would be in the EU this year.

    6. No Games Have Been Announced – They have shown games working. The following interviews with the press said they were looking at the entire catalog and it came down to testing. PS2 and PS1 games will follow.

    7. You’ll Need A DualShock 3 (Even When You’re Mobile). – removing the Dualshock from those games drastically reduces the playability and “fun” of those games. Ask anyone with an emulator. There are lots of cool little clips that attach your smart phone to a controller, you will see those as well. I also wouldn’t rule out controller free play on some games.. but it’s going to depend on the game and if it is a PS Mobile game or vita touch screen game, which there is already a lot of those. It is pretty easy to break those games down by category for quick phone use.

  • ThePokeMaster

    #2
    They said the recommended minimum speed was 5mbs, that’s lower than the average “7.4” you put in the article.

    #4
    They’re using Gaikai.

  • BalramRules

    My responses to each of your points (all of which are defensive of Sony, because I do not believe that some of these are valid, especially Point 4):

    1) Exactly, we don’t know the price, so as opposed to your theoretical $60 monthly (which to be frank, IS kind of silly, because Sony have common sense) it could simply be $15 monthly (competitive with MMOs).

    2) It only requires 5 Megabit connection with low latency, my friend uses Remote Play on his PS4 with his cellphone’s internet, that shows you how awesome this technology that Gaikai have been working on really is.

    3) This doesn’t worry me, kind of expected if you think about it.

    4) In case you hadn’t noticed, Gaikai is developing PS Now, not Sony’s divisions whom are notorious for instability issues, so don’t blame Gaikai for Sony’s past mistakes such as PSN OUtages on the PS3/PSP and all.
    ^^Your Point: 4 is invalid, don’t blame Gaikai for Sony’s track record, all that’s happened is Gaikai is merged with Sony, and the way you ought to look at it is, Sony now have some software experts that’d help on not only the PS Now Project, but with their PSN system and more.

    5) Doesn’t bother me, the reasons Sony gave us were kind of expected, Europe has awful internet, why is this a surprise to anyone?

    6) This one I give you, but I think it’s going to be kind of obvious that Sony’s planning a massive library for PS Now, but don’t expect every game at launch.

    7) Why worry about this? I’m happy about this, in fact, I’d prefer requiring a DualShock 4, to promote the DS4 movement (hopefully this’d be an update).
    Wouldn’t you want to have a good ergonomic form of input, rather than using a touch screen for lets say, L2 and R2 shoulder buttons, and analogue sticks?

  • Escopablobar

    The service will be used initially and primarily to stream PS3 titles to all relevant, current and prior generation consoles and other consumer electronics. Therefore, the fact that you can play PS3 software on PS4 in itself defines backward compatibility. Sony’s aspirations will ultimately see PS1 and PS2 classics added to the service. Again, as a solution to backwards incompatibility at least on PS4 and newer PS3 models.

    Ultimately this re-genesis of cloud streaming as a viable service to consume games is the revolution I speak of in my initial comment. As the future becomes the present and internet infrastructure is bolstered it will even replace digital download distribution.

    I know what streaming is and I know what backward compatibility is. I also know that they are not the same thing. But, I also know that in this situation they are not separate things. One technology is essentially a vehicle to facilitate the other. Maybe I am not the one who needs to learn something.

  • Zohak Diaz

    On point! Ps now is stupid… just give us backward compstible,sony, not all these nonsense that is destined to fail

  • Shaxster

    See, I’m not sure. $15 a month is 1/4 the price of a game, and you could play 4 or 5 full-priced game each month. I think it will cost a lot more than $15 (otherwise it’s not profitable).

  • Shaxster

    True, you don’t need a DS3 with the Vita. But with any other device you’ll need one.

  • Shaxster

    Probably a good solution, actually.

  • Shaxster

    Fortunately for you, I don’t 😉

  • Shaxster

    I’ll be fair, I laughed!

  • Shaxster

    They have promised to improve the services, but so far I’m not seeing that. Music Unlimited and the PSN webstore are both very glitchy and very broken, and PS4’s multiplayer isn’t great (especially when compared with how painless X1’s is).

  • Shaxster

    All valid and interesting points. Thanks!

  • Shaxster

    True, we do need to wait before we make our mind up. I’m just trying to temper the expectations of everyone who’s all excited about it.

  • Shaxster

    Yeah, I think you’re right here. PS Now is acting as a vehicle for backwards compatibility.

  • Shaxster

    They’ve said the recommended minimum speed is 5, but I have a feeling that’s the *bare* minimum.

  • http://bu3ouf91.tumblr.com/ Vincent

    Have you gave them chance till the Q4 of 2014, They’ve just opened new PSN servers for PSVita and PS4.

  • Shaxster

    Some interesting points, but I take issue with #5. Europe’s internet is significantly better than the god-awful internet you guys get in the US. Almost everyone here (in the suburbs or cities) has internet of at least 15Mbps, and a huge number have fibre connections of 60Mbps.

  • Shaxster

    Yeah, that’s true. It might improve (and hopefully it will!). But with PS Now going into beta in a few months it’s unlikely it will be improved by then.

  • JoeDaniel

    But the difference here is we don’t ever own the games we play on PS Now…streaming to us isn’t a massive expense, that’s why Netflix does it for only $8 even with all their tons of expensive studio licensing deals… But honestly no one on earth would pay that much, that would be absolute business suicide… But then again, we’re working on the assumption that Sony will have a good library of games, and judging by how some major PS1 classics aren’t on Vita yet, I don’t see that happening, it will most likely be a slow rollout to keep people paying…

  • Shaxster

    Yeah, $60 would be business suicide…but I think we’ll be talking at least $20. $15 would be sweet though.

  • JoeDaniel

    Yeah definitely, all depends on the content really… I mean i don’t have a PS4 yet because of the insane amount of games I still have to play on PS3… I refuse to pay $400 for a console just to get a better frame rate version of a game I can play on PS3, but I really don’t think this is geared towards hardcore gamers, because we would just keep the previous console and games if we wanted to.

  • https://twitter.com/SidiousStrange Gibson

    I too don’t really agree with most of these points. And I’ve been an Xbox fan since the first Xbox hit. I did decide to go with PS4 this generation at launch (for loads of reasons I won’t get into now), but I still have my original Xbox and Xbox 360, and I do still plan to buy an XBone down the road. I had a PS3, and I wasn’t impressed with Sony’s online service, especially when compared to Xbox Live. But I must say, on PS4 (though it hasn’t been without it’s issues), Sony’s online service has already shown to be much improved over what they had on PS3. I think part of that is helped by them charging (requiring a PSPlus subscription) for online play. That gives them extra capital to re invest in their Playstation Network. Something they didn’t have with PS3. Something MS has had from the beginning with Xbox Live Gold.
    Don’t get me wrong, it will take Sony a while to catch up with what MS has achieved with Xbox Live over two, going on three console cycles. But I think they are taking very good steps in the right direction.

    All that to say, I am excited by the idea of Playstation Now. I’ve said for years that the game industry needs to take steps to ensure that our past generations of games are playable for future generations. With backwards compatibility becoming a thing of the past (largely due to the costs involved for the console manufacturer), it seems the next best option is making these game libraries available via The Cloud (with options for purchasing/downloading the games, streaming them via subscription models or on a game by game basis or a mix of all of these). Playstation Now will likely have it’s issues and experience growing pains. But I hope it becomes a trend. I want all my past games from all my past systems to eventually be playable from on generation to the next. Sure, I’d prefer to be able to use the disc I bought or the download I bought. But if I have to, I can try and keep all my old systems. But this streaming option, while not perfect, may be the next best solution for legacy gaming.