PlayStation Now Adds PS4 & PS2 Game Downloads

PS Now downloading

After no small number of rumours and insider reports, Sony have now added the ability to download PS4 and PS2 games via PlayStation Now and play them on your local PS4, in addition to its bread and butter of game streaming.

There’s a few wrinkles to this, so while you can play offline, your PS4 will need to get online once a week to check your subscription. You won’t need PS Plus to play PS Now games online, but you will need PS Plus to be able to take progress from a game you were streaming to that same game on your PS4 – you have to transfer from PS Now to PS Plus, and then to your PS4.

This also comes with the caveat that it’s only for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 2 games, which can all be bought and played separately, but that didn’t stop plenty of people complaining on social media that it doesn’t include the PlayStation 3 titles on the service. Here’s the thing: that won’t happen because the PS4 architecture cannot feasibly emulate the PlayStation 3 architecture. The complexities of the Cell CPU and how many GPU image processing tasks were often offloaded to it from the GPU mean that Sony cannot mimic the Xbox One’s backward compatibility to Xbox 360.

Source: PS Blog

9 Comments

  1. When did they add a yearly option? You can now pay £12.99 a month, or £84.99 a year. Or about 7 quid a month.

    So if you pay for a year, it’s cheaper than the XBox game pass thing, you get more games, and you can download them now?

    Can we assume the “Oooh, it’s too expensive” whinging will stop now?

    No, I didn’t think so. The internet wouldn’t stop moaning about the price if it was free and included monthly blowjobs.

    • Yearly option was added a few months ago. I tried the trial earlier in the year and was impressed with the quality of the streaming. This makes the proposition a lot more attractive too. I’d say a revamp of the titles and some more parity between the US and EU offerings and I’d sub for a year. (US has >600 titles and we have >500 – they have a couple of nice notables like Ni No Kuni that we don’t for no apparent reason).

      If you combine yearly sub with PSN credit bought from discounters you can get price down to about £77 too.

  2. I thought I read somewhere this was currently for US only.

    I think they should really start advertising this more heavily if you can now download them as it’s a serious competitor to the Xbox game pass.

    I understand the reason for the lack of PS3 titles but still stings nonetheless. Who would’ve thought the cell processor would become such a pain down the line

    • It was announced for the US first, but then quickly spread to the rest of the world.

      https://blog.eu.playstation.com/2018/09/21/new-update-lets-you-download-your-favourite-ps-now-games-onto-your-ps4/

      And yes, they need to advertise it more. Or give you more options than paying for it on the PS store. You can walk into a shop and buy a PS+ subscription, so why not PS Now? MS let you buy their version in shops.

      And maybe it’s a first step to combining it with PS+ in a single subscription? If we’re losing 2/3 of the monthly PS+ games next year. Maybe buy PS+ and PS Now and get at least a discount?

      • Mixing with ps+ sounds like a brilliant idea. Although it seems so generous I can’t imagine it being much of a profit for them surely?

        That’s great news about coming to the rest of the world, I’ve been considering it for a while as my PS3 is on its last legs and doesn’t read disc any more.
        Although I barely find the time to play PS4 and switch games so I don’t think adding another rconsole to the mix is a good idea

      • Yeah good suggestion, this could easily be the top tier Plus experience, or like you say Plus members should get a discount on Now. All in one would be perfect though, I’d happily pay £100 a year for the lot, or just keep Plus and top it up the odd month if the backlog wasn’t looking so appealing.

      • A combined option seems like the most obvious way to do it. Pay what you currently pay for the 6 games a month (2 next year), or pay extra for PS++ including PS Now.

        I think Sony have looked at different options and asked people about various levels of PS+ with different benefits. Sure I heard about some survey they did. And while the official line is “You’ll just get 2 PS4 games a month” once they PS3/Vita games leave PS+, I can’t imagine that’s what’ll actually happen. Price goes up by 25%, that seemed reasonable after no increase for 7 years or whatever it was. PS3/Vita games no longer included, that was inevitable at some point. But to do both things within 18 months and not add anything to make up for having fewer games? That’s just asking for trouble.

        I’d guess that they’ll announce something in February and it may involve PS Now. Or an extra PS4 game. Or a monthly VR game. Or they’ll say there’s a PS5 coming next year, so wait for then to get more games. Or they’ll go made and suddenly announce “Surprise, bitches! Here’s the PS5. Right now”.

        Some of those options seem more likely than others.

  3. PS3 emulation is not absolutely impossible though, it’s just a question of computing power, isn’t it? That makes me hope that PS Now on PS5 will be able to download PS3 titles too, which would make it essential for every PS5 owner in my opinion.

    • Yeah, you can emulate anything with enough power and time spent optimising. There’s been a PS3 emulator project of PC for years, but the CPU in the PS4 isn’t well suited to emulating the Cell. AMD’s latest CPUs should be though.

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