Sony has announced that their PlayStation Now streaming service, which allows streaming of games from various PlayStation consoles, will now allow users to download games and play them from the harddrive on the PlayStation 4. This means players no longer need a strong and consistent internet connection to play games using the service.
“Almost” all PlayStation 4 games will be downloadable, as well as the list of PlayStation 2 games that are already remastered for PS4. Sony declined to give a full list, so it is unclear what the exceptions are. Based on PlayStation Plus, it is doubtful a constant internet connection is required and more likely will only check if using a non-primary PS4. Sony did not suggest that PlayStation 3 titles are or will be downloadable in the future.
When Sony bought streaming service Gaikai in 2012, the platform holder announced that they planned to leverage the company’s streaming technology for upcoming services. That service launched two years later in 2014 as PlayStation Now, a streaming service for PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4 games that, to Sony, solved the backwards compatibility argument by decentralizing the hardware. Sony doesn’t have to try and make PlayStation 3 games compatible with the PS4 hardware when they could stream it.
However, the practicality of streaming for everyone has long been in question as the quality of internet connections can vary wildly depending on region and individual setup. Allowing players to download games brings the service a little closer to Xbox One’s Game Pass, suggesting that both companies see streaming as an option rather than the only option.
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PlayStation Now Adds The Ability To Locally Download PlayStation 4 And PlayStation 2 Games