PlayStation Now users prefer downloads over streams

  • TECH
  • Wednesday, 01 May 2019

PlayStation Now launched in 2014, allowing full downloads from 2018. — AFP Relaxnews

Members of the PlayStation Now subscription service get more out of downloaded games rather than those streamed live over the net, according to PlayStation, even as Google and Xbox prepare cloud gaming services for launch.

PlayStation has justified its decision to add game downloads to its PC and PlayStation 4 PlayStation Now cloud gaming service, saying that games downloaded "receive double the amount of gameplay time compared to streamed titles", per GamesIndustry reporting.

PlayStation invested in cloud gaming tech relatively early on, having bought 2008 startup Gaikai in 2012, and then incorporating it into PlayStation Now, which launched in 2014.

However, traditional downloads were not added to the US$19.99 (RM82.58) monthly subscription until late in 2018.

By contrast, Xbox is heading in the other direction. Having successfully expanded the appeal of its US$9.99 (RM41.27) per month Xbox Game Pass download scheme by including first-party exclusives at launch, streaming service Project xCloud is waiting in the wings.

Even so, as Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki reminded investors, PlayStation Now offers 750 games, over three times that of its nearest rival.

That might be a veiled reference to Xbox Game Pass, which currently carries 216 titles, per its Microsoft Store listing, including big hitters such as Minecraft, Sea Of Thieves, Forza Horizon 4, and the Halo and Gears Of War franchises.

Xbox parent Microsoft announced Project xCloud shortly after PlayStation Now allowed for direct download.

Then, this March, Google unveiled its Stadia project, the revised name for Project Stream, which was tested late 2018 in partnership with blockbuster video game release Assassin's Creed Odyssey.

Stadia is anticipated for launch at some point in 2019; by using the Google Chrome web browser as its delivery method, it boasts platform-agnostic compatibility across mobile devices, laptops, and desktop computers.

Apple will be rolling out an Apple Arcade subscription towards the end of 2019, though it will remain download-only, with iCloud support used to provide game progression across linked devices. – AFP Relaxnews
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