Is PS Now Worth It in 2021?

I didn’t think there would come a time when we could get access to a gigantic library of games for the price of a cab drive around a block. But, technology never ceases to amaze anyone. I guess with the rise in streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime, it was only inevitable that we’d see something like it for video games. And if you’re here, chances are you’re trying to look for one for PlayStation 5.

As it turns out, there does exist a streaming service for them, and it’s called PlayStation Now. In fact, PS Now has been made available since 2014, but it’s only taking off now due to the rising popularity of streaming services these days. But the real question is, “Is PS Now worth it?” The article encompasses points for some of the following thoughts:

  • What PlayStation Now is
  • How much it costs
  • How you could use it
  • And how it works in general

By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a fundamental idea on the service, you’ll come to an understanding of whether it’s something for you, and you’ll figure out if PS Now is worth it — which is what you’re here to find out!

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What is PS Now?

Before we go on to answer if PS Now is worth it, let’s talk about it first. For starters, PlayStation Now is a cloud gaming service, with a subscription-based monetization model, that first began in 2015.

With it, you could play absolutely any new game that is available through the service for a nominal fee.

It’s quite like your usual Netflix experience in that you pay, and you play! You don’t have to feel fussy about keeping a physical collection of games.

And the prospect of installing games is completely eliminated because you’re streaming the games. (Of course, unless you wanted to download the games, which you could, but more on that later.)

The other upsides to this service are that you can relive your nostalgic experiences with a number of games taken directly from the PS4, PS3, and even the PS2 eras of gaming, including PlayStation exclusive games and other older games, such as the Uncharted series, or the Resident Evil series, respectively.

But, the downside? Well, two points:

  • One, PlayStation 5 games aren’t made available through it. A fairly understandable drawback, since they are new to the consumer market
  • Two, you can play games from various platforms (from PS Vita games to PS4 Pro games) except for PlayStation 1 games. This pointer is harder to swallow, given how we get to play games coming from the other console generations

Even so, it’s an ambitious move that could potentially change how we approach video games.

The service comes with a week’s worth of free trial, so check it out sometime if you’re curious.

Okay, But How Does PS Now Work?

How does PS Now work” is a raging question among a lot of PlayStation users. But, it works much like any other cloud-based media service like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, or Disney Plus.

You have a wide lineup of games to choose from once you’re a member.

These games can be played from start to finish, and you can play them through any supported device.

how does ps now work
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If we count the latest consensus, which was last done in 2020, PS Now has at least 800 video games, with approximately 40% of that number being made available for download to the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5.

Your best bet would be to make the most out of your investment. The reason is quite simple: The PS Now lineup rotates on a monthly basis.

Cool! So, Who Can Use PS Now?

If you’re a PlayStation user from one of the following regions, then you can get started with your PS Now subscription immediately!

playstation users across countries
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How Much Is PS Now Subscription Cost?

The pricing tier is split between 3 models. The first is the most popular choice; the monthly model worth $9.99.

The other two include tri-monthly and annual models, which stand at the prices of $24.99 and $59.99, respectively. Tax may be applicable, so it’s best to treat these prices as exclusive of it.

The service itself consists of 800 video games, with more than 300 games being listed on the service as downloadable (more on the download part later).

However, I did mention that the lineups tend to change every month, so do keep that in mind. Here’s the subscription page if you want to begin using PS Now.

So, How Can I Use PS Now?

You’d have to first see if PS Now is available in your region. Assuming that it is, the service wouldn’t require any additional requirements from you apart from a direct download from the PlayStation Store.

Once you’ve got the app set up on your console, just launch it, pay your subscription fee, and you’re good to go! The procedure may be different for other devices. More on this later.

There are a few things to keep in mind about the service itself, though. I’ve put some brief points on that.

How to use PS Now

Well, they’re not strictly PS Now requirements, save for one or two points. But, these are definitely part of making your experience with the app a lot better.

So, here are some pointers on how to use PS Now, or what the requirements of PS Now is.

  • Get a PlayStation Network Account

All of this starts with your PlayStation Network account. You’ll need it to use PS Now, much like most other cloud services.

  • Get a PS4 or PS5

The second important point is that the service works only on PS4 and PS5 systems as far as PlayStation systems go. Support for the other PlayStation systems has been dropped since 2017. So, ensure that you’ve got either a PS4 or a PS5.

Also, why is this point secondary to the first point? Well, because you don’t need a PS4 or PS5 system to use PS Now.

Non-PlayStation devices can stream games via PS Now, but you’ll still need your PSN account to login, pay for, and use the service.

  • Get an internet connection stronger than 5 Mbps

Since it’s a streaming service, PS Now requires an internet speed of at least 5 Megabits per second (Mbps, for short) or above.

If you convert the minimum amount, it’s basically 125 KiloBytes (or 0.125 MegaBytes).

The PS Now bandwidth usage may differ from user to user. Still, keep the minimum number in mind. If you can get that speed, then all the better for it. If you regularly stream your content on another service without issues — say Netflix or Disney Plus — then you shouldn’t face problems.

  • Pay only for PlayStation Now, not PlayStation Plus

Let me ask you this: Is PS Now worth it if it allows you to play online multiplayer games for free? Because it’s true! You can play online with PlayStation Now. You don’t have to pay any extra fee for playing multiplayer games through PS Now. All the pricing options give you full access to the games for the time frame they’ve given you.

Some assume that you have to pay for a PlayStation Plus membership to play online multiplayer games through PS Now. But that’s not true at all, so don’t do it! Here’s a clearer explanation on the differences between the two services if you’re feeling confused.

Does PS Now Work on the PC, Though?

Yes, PS Now does work on the PC!

To expand on that a little more, you will need to stream your PlayStation games through PS Now if you’re using non-PlayStation devices. This confirms that PS Now not only works for PC, but it’s also built with most devices in mind.

The only caveat to this is that you’ll need either a DualShock 3 or 4, DualSense, or any other XInput-compatible controller (yes, an Xbox controller works, too!) in order to use the service through your non-PlayStation device.

Unfortunately, PlayStation Now is for Windows. Meaning, it is not available on Apple devices, including the Mac.

Can I download PS Now games on PC?

Short answer: No, you cannot download PS Now games on your PC.

I want to bring the point about downloading PS Now games back. Primarily, PS Now is a streaming service.

BUT… you don’t have to stream your games if you’re playing it on your PlayStation system.

You can download the PS Now games on your console and have fun without the need to stream anyway. (After all, you could download over 300 games!) If you’ve got data caps for your internet, then this helps save your data.

But this is exclusive to consoles; non-PlayStation devices do not get this luxury.

Can I keep PS Now games forever?

can i keep ps now games for ever
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Much like other subscription-based cloud services, if your subscription expires, then your content will be locked away.

You’ll need to renew your subscription to stream games again. So, you cannot keep PS Now games forever.

You can, however, keep the progression you’ve made in the games (whether it’s a PS2 or a PS3 or even a PS4 game) for as long as you’d like (save data, trophies, etc.).

When it comes to the offline games you download, you get an extra week to play them. Once the week is up, they are locked, too.

To unlock them, you will need to renew your PS Now subscription.

Personally, given how much the service already provides us, PS Now is worth it regardless of the shortcomings.

If we take a look at the bigger picture, the issues are manageable.

So, now that you know what PS Now is, how it works, how much it costs, and what it needs, all that’s left is to try it out yourself!

So, here’s what you’ll need for the service, and how you can download it on PC.

Minimum PC specifications for PS Now

Here are the minimum PC requirements you’ll need to meet in order to run the PS Now service properly:

minimum pc specification for ps now
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How to download PS Now on PC

If you’re trying to figure out how to play PS Now on PC, then follow the steps I’ve provided. The setup is rather simple enough that you can get it running in just short of 10 minutes, tops.

  • Download the PS Now app installation file on your PC. The link will prompt you to save the file somewhere
  • Install the app with the help of the onscreen prompts
  • Connect your XInput-enabled controller (preferably a DualShock or DualSense controller) to your PC
  • Log into the installed app using your PlayStation Network account
  • Launch PS Now
  • Yay, you’ve figured out how to download PS Now on PC!

But, Is a PS Now Subscription Worth It?

With all of what’s been said, now it’s time to dig into the not-so-charming parts of the service, and see how it stacks against the good stuff.

So, is PS Now worth it in all cases? Jury’s out, but here are some points to keep in mind about it. After all, there’s nothing that’s “too good”.

Steep price points

ps now subscription
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The service itself is not expensive, though. But the price points are a little awkward to look at.

Cumulatively speaking, if you were to go for a monthly plan every month, then you’d be coughing up a total of $120 versus the annual plan, which is worth half of the same price!

It’s a lot better to go for the annual plan in most cases.

Of course, don’t let that stump you! Think long and hard about what price point fits you best, and how frequently you’d use the service.

And speaking of the latter, the next point might put you off of it.

Games stream at 720p

Notice that I wrote “stream”, and not “download”.

When it comes to offline downloads, you can play the games with resolutions that go up to 4K with no problems. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the stream quality.

Gaming streams are locked at 720p.

Which means there is no solution to how to improve PS Now quality, visually speaking. It’s been stated that you could circumvent this problem by upscaling the quality with a high-end GPU.

But, not only is this only applicable to desktop owners, but it also seems far-fetched, given how the service does not rely on your GPU, only your internet connection. On top of that, you have input lag to worry about; a case that is likely to occur in streaming services.

Understandably, most folks wouldn’t feel comfortable with this. You could potentially fix the latter with a better internet connection, but not the former.

1080p is pretty much the mainstream today, so we can only hope that the streaming quality gets better in time.

This is when thoughts turn from, “PS Now is amazing”, to, “Is PS Now worth it, then?” Clearly, it’s not a question so easily answerable.

Only 3 countries can stream on PS Now currently

which countries can stream ps now
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As of now, streaming PS Now on your non-PlayStation device is only possible if you’re a resident of the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom.

So, is PS Now worth it if you can only stream from your PlayStation system? That depends entirely on you.

If you have budget and time constraints, then the investment is definitely worth it. The service is worth its price tag for anyone who enjoys gaming in short bursts. But, you’ll need a PlayStation system to enjoy it.

It lacks keyboard and mouse support

ps now lacks keyboard and mouse support
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For a service that’s available on a wide number of non-PlayStation devices, it seems trivial to think that you could use your keyboard and mouse to play the games on PS Now.

Sadly, we’re going to have to put a big “if” on that. As of now, PS Now doesn’t support a keyboard and mouse controls for your gaming experience.

If you don’t have a controller, then you simply are going to need to shell out some money for it.

But is PS Now worth it even if they didn’t give support for those peripherals? For the most part, it certainly is. But, it depends on what you’re personally comfortable with.

Okay, So How to Cancel PS Now?

Assuming that you’re already a member, let’s say that you didn’t like what PS Now has to offer. Or, you simply want to save on money (because game streaming can be expensive for your data).

By following the steps I’ve provided for each of the different platforms, you can learn how to cancel PS Now subscriptions.

How to Cancel PS Now on Console

It’s not too much trouble to find out how to cancel PS Now subscriptions on the console. This applies to both PS4 and PS5 systems.

  • Go to the home screen, and open the Settings menu
  • Go to Account Management, and then Account Information
  • Scroll down to PlayStation Subscriptions
  • Choose the type of subscription (in this case, it should be PlayStation Now)
  • Turn off Auto-Renew

How to Cancel PS Now on PC

If at all you’re not a PlayStation console user, but were actually using PS Now on your PC, then here are the points that address how to cancel PS Now on PC.

  • Login to PSN Management
  • Click on Media, and select Games
  • Click on the tab for the PS Now subscription
  • Press on the Cancel Automatic Renewal button, and you’re good to go

How to Cancel PS Now on PlayStation App

If you’re out of town or something, and you’ve only got access to the PlayStation App, then you’re not out of luck!

You can still cancel your PS Now subscription using the PlayStation App itself.

  • Go to the PlayStation Store
  • Go to Profile, and Purchase History
  • Click on Games
  • You’ll see the option to click PlayStation Now
  • Pressing on the Cancel Automatic Renewal will cancel your subscription

The current subscription will run its course, but you will not be charged for the next one. When the end date for the current subscription arrives, you will be unsubscribed automatically!

Are There Alternative Game Streaming Services Like PS Now?

Of course! You have three services to choose from:

  • EA Play: This is a game streaming service provided by EA. So, if there are any EA games you’d love to try out (say, Dragon Age), it’s worth checking this service out. EA Play Pro — an advanced version of it — is exclusive to PC users.
  • Ubisoft Plus: This game streaming service is brought to you by Ubisoft. If you’re an Assassin’s Creed fan, or you’d love to get into Rainbow Six: Siege, then it’s worth getting it. The service is only available to PC users, though.
  • Xbox Game Pass: The cool thing about the Xbox Games Pass is that you’ve also got EA Play as part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. So, it’s a two-birds-with-one-stone kind of deal! But you already know the trade-off here; you’ll need an Xbox. Not a PlayStation.

Frequently Asked Questions on PS Now

Can I use PS Now on PS5?

Yes, you can. In fact, PS Now comes with a lot of PS4 games as part of its lineup, all of which can be played on the PS5.

Do you keep PS Now games forever?

Not forever, no. You can stream them online until either your subscription expires, or the game(s) you’re playing is taken off of the lineup. You may also download the games (exclusively possible for consoles) and play them that way. But, after your subscription expires, you get an extra week until the game is locked.

How long do games stay on PS Now?

The “marquee” games are in the lineup for 3 months. The rest may depend on the condition provided by the game’s information itself, which you can check by accessing its page on PS Now.

How much is the PlayStation Now subscription in the UK?

If you’re living in the UK, then the plans are €8.99 for a month, €22.99 for 3, and €49.99 for 12.

Is PS Now free?

PS Now provides itself for free only for a week, which is the 7-day free trial. You may only obtain a single trial per account. Once you exhaust it, you’ll need to subscribe to PS Now.

Is PS Now better than PS Plus?

If you want to explore more games, then PS Now is better than PS Plus. You can also use PS Now without PS Plus. However, we’ve barely scratched the surface of the topic, which I’ve talked about here.

How do I improve PS Now quality?

PS Now streams are locked at 720p, meaning you cannot use PS Now at 1080p resolutions or higher. So far, no news regarding ways to improve PS Now’s streaming quality exists. If you want to play the games at higher resolutions, then you’ve got to download them locally, and play them on your console.

Do you think PS Now is worth it?

In the end, it comes down to what you think is more convenient for you. A lot of time goes into playing the games you pick. Most games these days stretch between 8 to 20 hours of gameplay easily. Personally, I think it’s worth every cent.

Not only do I get to explore a wake of games I’d have a hard time purchasing (since those games can cost a bomb), but I also get to finish them if I wanted.

It also acts as a testing ground for purchasing games; you could find out what game you’d play for a long time, and what game is the one-and-done kind before you go ahead with a purchase.

The service may not be for you if you’re slow with finishing games, or if you don’t want to play so many games in general.

In those cases, the 30-day window can be a bit off-putting. You could save your money by buying the physical copies instead, and playing them at your own pace.

But, if you’re either someone with a penchant for finishing games faster than Quicksilver could dodge bullets (Oof), or someone who wants a taste of everything that’s there, then PS Now might just be perfect for you!

Given how the subscription service gives you a 1-week free trial, there’s always a choice for you to give it a try before you make that judgement call.

And with that, you’ve reached the conclusion!

If you’ve already tried the service, then let me know what you think! Is PS Now worth it? Or would you rather stick to buying games?

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