Sony are rolling out a big upgrade for their PlayStation Now game subscription service. Over the new several weeks, they will start streaming compatible games at a full 1080p. That’s a pretty big upgrade over the 720p streams that PS Now has had since it first launched in 2014.
PlayStation Now will begin rolling out support for streaming 1080p capable games this week.
The rollout will occur over the next several weeks across Europe, US, Canada, and Japan, where PlayStation Now is available. pic.twitter.com/OEHWHtMTw8
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) April 22, 2021
The limitation, of course, is whether or not the game is running at 1080p in the first place, and that will depend on the original platform that the game comes from. Most PlayStation 3 games only run at 720p, and the server blades based on the original PS3 hardware were likely designed with 720p streaming as the target.
By contrast, PS4 games often run at 1080p and PS2 Classics were emulated with enhanced resolutions. However, the original PlayStation 4 hardware has only ever supported 720p game streams for Remote Play – with was with the PS4 Pro that 1080p encoding was enabled. It’s not clear if this improvement means that Sony has upgraded the hardware in their servers to support higher resolutions, but it’s entirely possible.
PlayStation Now debuted in 2014 as a method of playing PS3 games via streaming across a range of mobile, TV and console platforms. It was expanded in 2017 to add PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 2 games to the library, but the most significant change came in 2018 when, seemingly in response to Xbox Game Pass, Sony added the new ability to download the games and play them locally on a PlayStation 4.
While playing locally is going to provide the best experience, it’s not always an option for users depending on where they are playing. PlayStation Now is available across PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, where you can play games locally, but it is also supported on PC. While there have been options for this in the past, there are currently no smartphone or TV options for PS Now games.