PlayStation Now to offer Netflix-style subscriptions for video games | EW.com

Gaming

Sony's PlayStation Now to offer Netflix-style subscriptions for streaming games

The start of the year can be a dead time for major video game releases, so Sony is stepping in to offer a subscription service for players who have found the time to play all of 2014’s greatest games.

Sony announced Monday that its video game streaming service, PlayStation Now, will officially launch with subscription options on Tuesday, Jan. 13.

PlayStation 4 owners will be able to sign up for a Netflix-style subscription package that will offer over 100 PlayStation 3 titles that can be streamed to the PS4. A single month will cost $19.99, while three-month packages will go for $44.99. There are currently no six-month or year-long subscription packages available.

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The subscription will include access to all games available in the Now library. Players will stream games rather than have to download and install them to their system, just like a Netflix subscriber would watch a movie or TV show.

PlayStation Now has been in an open beta for several months, allowing players to rent games for several days or weeks at a time. The official launch will move the program into a service similar to Netflix or Amazon Prime Instant Video.

The initial offerings include a host of major and small titles, from the original Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune to Guacamelee to BioShock Infinite. Sony has released the list of games that will be initially available for subscribers.

Many PlayStation 3 owners will have played most of the best games available through Now, and the service has a long way to go before its catalogue offers an exhaustive library of the PS3’s best games. But for the PlayStation 4 owners who have never touched Sony’s previous console, the service is an easy way to begin catching up on some of the best games of the last few years.

The service will likely live or die by how easily players can actually stream games without technical hiccups, and whether the price point will be able to attract enough subscribers. The first slate of titles seems to be intended for those who missed out on the PlayStation 3’s suite of games, which may leave a large chunk of the PlayStation 4 audience uninterested in initially subscribing. That said, $20 is a small price to pay to play, or replay, The Last of UsIco, and The Walking Dead.

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