PlayStation Now cuts out the middle man, shows how services will eventually kill consoles

Dealspwn: "Sony has rolled out PlayStation Now, their game streaming service, onto a select range of Samsung smart TVs in the US and Canada.

It's baby steps to be sure, but it's also fascinating look into how streaming services will eventually cut out the middle man and change the definition of the word console in the process.

The operative word being "eventually."

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bggriffiths1287d ago

I'm skeptical until they sort the pricing out, but streaming could well take over eventually. Sounds mental, but look at Netflix. I buy sod all DVD/BDs nowadays, quite content to browse for something on Netflix.

On the other hand, I also watch a fair bit of crap on there for convenience sake. But I'll do that, more and more now rather than go to the cinema or buy a DVD. Could that attitude translate to games? Hopefully not.

Blues Cowboy1287d ago

Yeah, that or optionally downloading files. Lots of hurdles but that's where it will end up eventually. Sony have got their foot in the door early!

TheImprobableMulk1287d ago

I think the difference between something like Netflix and game streaming is the latency. A video can be buffered or reduced in resolution slightly and while it would be annoying it wouldn't be the end of the world, whereas even a hint of latency can ruin a gaming experience. Here in the UK, that's the biggest hurdle.

Also, I agree that pricing will be the tipping point for many, as will the duration of games on the service. After all, nobody wants to start playing a game only to find out it's been taken off when they're only half way through.

Army_of_Darkness1287d ago

My connection speed is good( 24mbps), however I do get frequent disconnection issues, so I'm definitely Not a fan of relying on my internet connection too play video games.

GameSpawn1287d ago (Edited 1287d ago )


With better internet, latency will become a non-issue, BUT the x-factor is the quality of the internet. For a service like PSNow to replace an entire traditional physical distribution market depends heavily on EVERYONE having a very specific level of internet quality and speed. This just will not ever happen. As sad as it sounds, many people still use dial-up (although an incredibly miniscule number) and very slow and/or data capped connections through cellular or satellite services just because of the region they are located in being devoid of high-speed services like cable or FIOS.

Game streaming is definitely in the future, but NOT for everyone and everywhere. As such, gaming as we know it being distributed and played physically and locally will continue (probably for many generations).

breakpad1287d ago

if streaming services like PSnow conquer the market and vanish physical media or consoles i will stop gaming

donthate1287d ago (Edited 1287d ago )

There are far too many issues with PS Now. The idea that PS Now will become the next Netflix is quite flawed. Here are some of the reasons why:

a) your gaming experience is heavily relied on latency which is dependent on the existing network connection, which is again dependent on the type of cables laid to your house and how well the ISP is managing your connection

b) said connection is most likely unstable, like most if not all internet connection. Time sensitive button presses doesn't go well along with unstable connection. MS has some developed a technology calle delorean to combat that, but it relies on both local and remote rendering with predictive analysis in the cloud i.e. not streaming

c) youtube existed way before Netflix got their streaming game on and Netflix was the disc mail-order service. However, Netflix became one of the biggest video providers because they have the right value (based on price and access to content) to consumers and a very well managed company. Even before the streaming, they were renown for their customer service. Sony right from the start overcharged you up the wazooo for a very poor selection of games.

So as you see, the Netflix of gaming is more likely to be Valve than Sony from a company that produces something that consumers consistently want.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1287d ago
extermin8or1287d ago

I have ps now beta and imin uk and have fibre otic high speed internet. Now I'm just saying but.... streaming might be an option for some but it's not taking over from actual hardware anytime soon. It's just not, the service does a good job of lowering textures resolution and overall picture quality if your internet speed fluctuates slightly but it really takes very little to cause lag and kill your game. Plenty of areas of the UK wont have the infrastructure never mind other countries. Plus as it is we are at a point where the internet we have physically wont be able to support the amount of data demanded by users to be transmitted the result will be a total slowdown without a complete overhaul of tech in the not too distant future. Plus don't forget as graphis and AI improve the file sizes are liekly to grow for stuff like textures etc even with better compression tech it'll still be an issue. So digital downloads will take a arger share of the market but it's unlikely that physical hardware/media will be going anywhere.

Ashlen1287d ago

I've been trying to explain that PS Now is nothing but DRM. You have even less ownership of your games than digital which was basically zero as is. Now you can't even play games with out paying a monthly fee.

And I bet it's situation where if you break down the math most people are paying more for a subscription to a service that there only going to play a few games from that they could have owned for less money than they pay for the subscription.

Axonometri1287d ago

I doubt Sony would end up purposefully pushing a service to kill off PS4 and it's own future consoles business.

Blues Cowboy1287d ago (Edited 1287d ago )

It's about the long game. The technology and infrastructure won't really be ready this gen. They're thinking ahead in terms of what happens down the line - it is their "own future consoles business." But the PS4 doesn't have anything to worry about.

EDIT: from the article: "The operative word being "eventually."

"Which is where we need to get real, though, because PlayStation Now is going nowhere fast and neither are consoles."

raWfodog1287d ago

Yeah the operative word 'eventually' definitely needs to be stressed because unless these companies are willing to cut out the third world countries whose networking infrastructures are not up to the same standards as other countries, streaming services will not be as profitable as they hope.

Many people forget that PS3's and 360's are still the major gaming consoles in a lot of these countries because people just cannot readily afford to adapt new technologies as quickly as others. That's why games are still being made for last-gen platforms.

ginsunuva1287d ago (Edited 1287d ago )

If they kill off the Ps4 using PSNow that would be a great success actually for them.

Travis37081287d ago (Edited 1287d ago )

I would never go digital only and Sony knows this.
It's alright to have options. PS Now is becoming great, they just need to fix the price, but I don't mind paying for an subscription in the future when more AAA games come..

harrisk9541287d ago

Are you saying that Sony knows that you, Travis3708, will never go digital? Wow, you must be so important and integral to Sony's future game streaming plans! /s

fermcr1287d ago (Edited 1287d ago )

PlayStation Now still exists? Good luck!... it's going to need it.
I thought it was clear at the beginning of this console generation that most gamers didn't want a only online gaming console/service.

Well OnLive already tried this and failed, let's see what happens to PS Now...

himdeel1287d ago

Pricing structure is the worst part about PSNow right now after your bandwidth.

Taero1286d ago

eh, $19.99 a month, for some people that's basically nothing, heck people still pay over a $100 a month on cable. I don't have bandwidth caps either where I live so if I were that person there would be nothing stopping me signing up for it.

It would be interesting to see how much bandwidth this will need over a month, say with 3 hours a night streaming (or whatever it is), surely it can't be much more than netflix (and I'm pretty sure a lot of people stream a LOT of netflix) especially if it's capped at 720p (which I seem to remember it is?).

Death1287d ago (Edited 1287d ago )

Depends on your definition of gamer. I certainly don't want to replace hard copies of games for streaming, but I am slowly becoming the minority. Core gamers are the foundation of console gaming, but it's the mass market that makes platform holders the bulk of their money. If Sony or Microsoft could eliminate costly hardware, used game sales and retail markup/distribution, they would do it in a minute. You only need to look at how digital downloads are done today to see how customers are charged the same price as retail copies. There is a reason Sony has been investing so heavily into digital delivery and streaming. Game ownership as we know it is changing very quickly and Sony is leading the way.

extermin8or1287d ago

You'll be glad to know it isn't going to happen then it's basically physically impossible. Literally the physics of it don't add up. 9we are in danger of reaching a point where the amount of data users require cant physically be transmitted over the internet in the time it's needed, thus speeds will crash-too many users throttle the bandwidth. Things like this will only increase the problem plus as games continue to look better and better file sizes will continue to increase as textures etc take up more room and even with better compression the issue will still exist. Digital downloads will take up a large portion of sales but people forget unlike CD's for music and blu rays/dvd's for movies- video games file sizes increase at a much greater rate due to the nature of them....

Taero1286d ago

@extermin8or I don't see how you could say that we're reaching a physical limit, simply by increasing the physical presence, size, and number of fibre optics you can increase bandwidth.

Now, if infrastructure stays as it is (and I'm not saying that those lovely oligarchies have our best interest in heart with their profits there) then I can see us maxing out current bandwidth. But I don't think it's accurate to portray it as a physical limit.

extermin8or1287d ago

sony bought onlive lol and Gaikai.

Volkama1287d ago

Technically Onlive went under, and Sony picked up some of their patents. They didn't actually buy Onlive, they bought some of the clever stuff that made it work.

NatureOfLogic_1287d ago (Edited 1287d ago )

Well I own PS4 and PSNow, but I still have the option to play offline and stop using PSNow at any time. My PS4 would still work as intended. People defending Xbone at the beginning of the gen didn't realize they would no have that option. Always online and online/offline option that console offer now are not the same thing. There was no need for MS to not allow games to be played offline, It was just a greedy policy that MS would extremely benefit from.

I will say that console are more useful if an online option is available. The original Xbone that was announced made your console paper weight if you didn't have a internet connection at all for MS's hourly DRM check ins. I still can't believe that some Xbox fans actually tried to defend MS's decision.

harrisk9541287d ago (Edited 1287d ago )


Unfortunately for OnLive, it was ahead of its time.

A few years ago, people didn't want to give us CDs, then Apple showed the ease of downloading music and,now, Spotify is showing everyone that streaming music is the way to go. Not to many people continue to buy physical music media and the number of those downloading music is starting to shrink in favor of streaming.

A few years ago (actually not too many ago!), people didn't want to give up physical media for movies, then Netflix showed us how easy it is to stream movies and television shows. While most services (other than Netflix) allow for people to download movies and tv shows, most are seeking the easy access of streaming.

The future of video games is also streaming, maybe not for several years, but eventually as the internet infrastructure improves around the world. The technical hurdles are more than with movies and music, but they will be overcome. OnLive was first then Gaikai/PS Now... and others on the way (or already active), including:

Playcast Media Systems
GameFly Streaming

You may not like it, but it will eventually be reality. As people (especially young people) become more accustomed to it and basically grow up with it and don't know anything different, it will happen. Like it or not.

rainslacker1287d ago

Think Napster had more to do with people realizing the benefits of digital for music. Apple just showed that people were actually willing to pay for that convenience. Before that, it did require some technical know how to make things happen. Apple just put all the pieces together.

Despite all that, physical CD sales still exist, and still take up considerable space in retailers. The physical medium is sold a bit differently nowadays, as music only stores are sparse, but other than that, everything that isn't independently produced is still available on CD. It was only last year that downloadable music sales revenue outpaced digital sales, so it's been a slow process.

Gaming is a bit of a different thing though. The ability to carry your games everywhere isn't quite as desired outside of mobiles. Being able to play them everywhere is a nice feature, but realistically, how many people would actually do this? Remote play is available now, and it's a great feature, but for the most part, it's a rather niche feature.

Overall, the idea of streaming games is always going to be an option, and not a replacement. I think over time, streaming will become more commonplace, but I can't see it completely replacing physical any time soon. The only reason I think PC gaming went mostly digital is because most people didn't sell their games down the line. The value of PC games dropped drastically very quickly, and the massive amount of DRM involved in PC games made them a pain to do so. People instead simply pirated stuff much easier than they did on consoles, which only pushed the resale value down further.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1286d ago
gamer11381287d ago (Edited 1287d ago )

If this is the future, Isn't this worse than what Microsoftplanned with Xbox one originally? I mean if all we have is this "service" technically we don't own the game we buy anymore. What does everyone is think?

Death1287d ago

Microsoft initial strategy was to allow gamers to rip their retail games to the consoles HDD and access them just like their digital counterparts. We didn't need to have the disc in the drive to verify ownership, but we did need to connect to the internet once every 24 hours to verify our registered game library. Games could still be traded, but it had to be done at a participating retailer since the game needed unlocked from our libraries. The 24 hour check in would disable the traded games from our consoles.

It was a combination of the two existing formats and still allowed us to have ownership of our games. Sony's streaming removes ownership all together since we are simply renting games. Both companies prevent trading of digital downloads.

dc11287d ago

Death! Now that's a straw man!

k2d1287d ago

Rental service versus MS's digital licenses.

Big difference..