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Streaming old-gen games from the cloud isn’t just for the PlayStation 4 anymore.
Sony is launching PlayStation Now for PlayStation 3 starting today. The service enables customers to rent PS3 games and immediately start playing because they stream over the Internet. This Netflix-for-games technology debuted on PlayStation 4 earlier this year, and now Sony is ready to open it up to a wider audience. PS Now is still in beta but available to anyone.
In addition to bringing PS Now to its last-gen console, Sony is also expanding the service’s library of games. God of War: Ascension, Infamous, and Ultra Street Fighter IV are now available to play through Now on PS4 and PS3. This brings the PlayStation Now library up to 150 games.
PS Now is one way that Sony is answering the demand for backward compatibility on the PS4. The new-gen system cannot play PS3 discs, so the company decided to use cloud streaming to serve that purpose.
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But most fans don’t consider PS Now perfect. The prices to rent the games are relatively high. You can spend $3 to rent a game for just four hours, which amounts to not much more than a demo. Sony, however, assures fans that the beta period is about experimentation. It has made some recent price adjustments. For example, four-hour rentals used to cost around $5. The company is also considering other options.
“We are still in the early days of PS Now,” Sony Computer Entertainment America vice president of platform marketing John Koller wrote in a blog post. “The service is still growing and evolving based on the feedback we’ve received from PS Now users. We recently reduced the pricing for select 4-hour rentals, and we are still working towards a PS Now subscription option.”
PlayStation Now will eventually roll out to all kinds of devices. That includes smart TVs, phones, and tablets.
Sony’s streaming option is just one way that the PlayStation company is working to figure out new ways of delivering games. It also has PS Plus, which is a subscription service that gets players an instant library of titles on PS3, PS4, and the Vita handheld. Microsoft has its Xbox Live Gold program, which also gives players games at no additional charge, and Electronic Arts has started EA Access, a similar subscription program. The difference between all these things and PS Now, is that Now streams games while PS Plus, Xbox Live Gold, and EA Access all require you to download any game you wish to play.
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