We knew it would happen eventually. Sony has made it clear over the years that the PlayStation brand would evolve into a “service” accessible on all platforms. That included making PlayStation games available for the Windows PC and Mac. Support for these platforms began with the release of the Remote Play client for the PlayStation 4, enabling console owners to stream their games to a desktop or laptop. Now the company is rumored to be getting ready to bring PlayStation Now to Windows and Mac as well.
The rumor arrives by way of Gamekult, which reports that Sony will make an announcement regarding PlayStation Now on August 23. Belgium, the Netherlands, and the U.K. will have access to the service first followed by the United States and Canada a week later. Right now, the launch window for Japan and France is unknown.
But let’s stop right there for a second. What doesn’t make sense here is that Sony has already distributed invitations to the press for a “PlayStation Meeting,” which will take place at the PlayStation Theater in New York City on September 7. The company is expected to formally announce the PlayStation 4 Neo console at this event, and will probably also use this press gathering as a launchpad for PlayStation Now on desktop. So we’ll just have to watch these events play out.
If you’re not familiar with PlayStation Now, it’s a service provided by Sony for streaming PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 games to the PlayStation 4, the PS Vita handheld, the PlayStation TV set-top box, and the PlayStation 3. The service has a crazy huge quantity of games to play (more than 400), with 15 more added just the other day for role-playing fanatics. The service includes PlayStation exclusives too, such as The Last of Us, the Uncharted games, the God of War series, and loads more.
So there’s something for everyone, but the service doesn’t come cheap: it costs a hefty $20 per month or $45 for three months. There’s an option to rent games too, costing $3 for four hours, $6 for seven days, $8 for 30 days, and $15 for 90 days. Right now, the service is still served up as an “open beta,” but that will likely change once it lands on the desktop.
Chances are, the Windows and Mac versions of PlayStation Now are currently in closed beta (or will go into beta later this month), hence that part of the rumor that states the service will require Windows 7 and an internet connection of five megabits per second or more. The clients will support the DualShock 3 and DualShock 4 controllers that connect via a USB port, but you can purchase cheaper, third-party models that will probably work just as well.
Sony purchased cloud-based game-streaming service Gaikai back in 2012, which unlike the now-closed OnLive service, previously established a network for purchasing and streaming individual games from the cloud to nearly any device. A year later, Sony addressed its backwards compatibility problem with the PlayStation 4 with a streaming solution. PlayStation Now will eventually roll out to smartphones, tablets, and Smart TVs in addition to desktops.
Because PlayStation Now is a streaming service, you don’t need hefty hardware to play the games. It will likely require similar specs to those needed for the Remote Play client, save for the suggested 12 megabits per second connection or greater. PlayStation Now probably won’t need all that, as OnLive in its day merely required only two megabits per second, though it recommended five megabits per second and higher.