Updated: Sep 9, 2021
We have discussed on a podcast the potential of streaming games in the industry. As other entertainment industries such as music and TV started making that move, it was only a matter of time before gaming followed suit. But this isn’t music or movies. Games are much larger and much longer. There’s also the deep ties consumers have with buying physical copies, not seen in many other areas of the entertainment industry. Game Pass seems to be the most successful journey thus far into the digital/streaming future, seemingly it will be one of the keys to Xbox’s future, and the template for other games companies. Since I don’t own an Xbox I had a go at the PlayStation equivalent, PSNow.
PS Now offered me something that for the time in my life I needed. I didn’t really want to spend that much on games. I wanted to try different games. As there’s no backwards compatibility on the PS4, I also wanted to try some games from past generations that I missed. I saw it being advertised and asked people about it, but reviews weren’t great. But the reviews were specific to people who have owned consoles and played quite a bit. I had come back from a hiatus. So me being me (and it being free) I gave it a shot and I’m happy I did.
I understand why it wasn’t the best choice for others but a mix of nostalgia and allowing the ability for me to try new things meant this platform was pretty much made for me. From a gaming point of view it had what I personally wanted too. It allowed me to complete one of the greatest Ratchet and Clank titles, A Crack in Time, and give a go at a really good indie fighter, Skullgirls 2nd encore. If it wasn’t for the lack of time, I would have finally played the PS3 God of War series, jumped back into the Batman Arkham series, and given the much talked about Bioshock games a go too (watching our streams by Andy and Akira wanted me to play it more). There’s also the inFamous series. How I enjoyed making reckless decisions as Cole (my first playthrough I was good, I’m older and wiser to know better).
Majority of the platform focuses on streaming games, but with a house full of internet users, even fibre optics slows down, so having some of the bigger titles downloadable is incredibly helpful. The caveat here is only some, I wish this was extended to the other games in this vast library. I also enjoy the accessibility. Personally, I wouldn’t own any Lego games but having it available for when my younger sister came around is helpful. When quarantine is over (praying for when because it feels like IF sometimes) with over 650 games to choose from, it would make for great link ups for friends. The variety of games is pretty incredible, just wish they could do a deal with Namco and get better sports games, or games more up to date. The way they incorporate the touchpad is clever too, with no start and select on the new pads it’s nice to know this wasn’t an afterthought and when playing any classic game, the gentle reminders of where these buttons are.
I did have a few issues. In terms of functionality, clarity on whether a game was stream only or downloadable would be helpful (like a little tag on the game). I believe the search function could be improved as well as the sorting options. A-Z or Z-A doesn’t make sense as the only ones where a lot of these games still have ratings, which they display. Also, maybe a bar for the letter of the games. Reading this it seems like I’m nitpicking but when you go through a list this big, you want a way to skip through as easily and quickly as possible. Would also be nice to have a stronger recommendation list too. My biggest gripe with the platform is its functionality. It doesn’t allow you to close the app or exit, so when I leave the platform (just pressing the PS button) and try to return, it never seems to open, forcing me to restart my console, which makes no sense when you could be playing while something is downloading in the back. It’s annoying once or twice but frustrating as a persistent problem.
Those problems and the fact these games are shown in their original condition (so no remasters here, same game, but for a different TV size, enter the black space around your screen) may put some of you off but I think it’s an amazing app. With games being added all the time (I was able to try Horizon Zero Dawn, re-play Spiderman and play Control) a decent price of £8.99 a month or if you look around £41.00 a year it’s definitely worth investing in. Especially if you have time but a limited budget during this quarantine. And if you don’t enjoy it for the month it shouldn’t take a hefty amount out of your monthly budget (however I know during these times it may more likely be the case than it used to). You can also play it on your PC (sorry Mac users) so it should tick a lot of boxes. The big question for you will be:
Are the games for me? If they are, will I find the time to play them all?
If you've previously played, drop a comment below, would love to hear your opinions.....