Sony has officially launched PlayStation Now in the UK, but what is it? We explain everything you need to know about PS Now including the price, supported devices and games.
The PS4 console has launched with a warm reception from gamers. However, the device cannot play older PS3 titles by simply putting them in the disc drive, which is something of a hindrance for players - and that's where PlayStation Now comes in.
Update 14 March 2017: Sony has announced that PS4 games are coming to the PS Now service later in 2017 - read more.
What is PlayStation Now?
PlayStation Now (PS Now) is a cloud-based gaming service which allows gamers to play PS3 titles by streaming them over the internet. Think of it like Netflix, but for games instead of films.
Sony said: "PS Now will deliver blockbuster and critically acclaimed PS3 games streamed via the cloud on numerous Internet-connected devices; giving more people the opportunity to experience the world of PlayStation."
How much does PlayStation Now cost in the UK?
Gamers can pay £12.99/$19.99 per month for unlimited access to the entire PlayStation Now library, with a seven day free trial to begin with. You were previously able to rent individual titles, but Sony appears to have removed that option from the service.
What platforms is PlayStation Now available on?
At the time of writing, PlayStation Now is available on the PC, PS4, PS3, and PS Vita, along with most of Sony's Bravia TV models since 2013, some Sony Blu-ray players, and even some Samsung Smart TVs. The bad news is that this is about to change.
Sony has confirmed that it is discontinuing PlayStation Now on a number of devices and it will soon only be available on PS4 and PC. 2016 models of Sony Bravia TVs will be discontinued on 15 May and the following devices will be ditched on 15 August:
• PlayStation 3
• PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV
• All 2013, 2014, 2015 Sony Bravia TV models
• All Sony Blu-ray player models
• All Samsung TV models
"After thoughtful consideration, we decided to shift our focus and resources to PS4 and Windows PC to further develop and improve the user experience on these two devices. This move puts us in the best position to grow the service even further," said the firm in a blog post.
Read next: How to use a PS4 controller on a PC
How does PlayStation Now work?
PS Now is a streaming service, much like Netflix, which allows you play any of the available games without any need to install them on your device. Because the game itself is run on Sony's servers, you don't need a powerful computer to play them - instead the limiting factor is likely to be the speed and reliability of your internet connection.
You can pause games at any time and pick them up again on a different device thanks to cloud saves, and PS Now also supports PSN features like online multi-player, trophies and messages.
You just need a Dualshock 3 or 4 controller, a broadband connection and a compatible device (see above).
Read: Xbox One vs PS4 comparison.
As of March 2017, there are 483 PS3 games available on the PS Now service, but that's always growing. Games range from major titles like the Uncharted series and Red Dead Redemption through to acclaimed indie releases like Catherine, Flower, and Journey, with plenty more in between.
In 2017 the service will also expand to include a selection of PS4 games. Sony announced the move in March, though offered few details on a potential launch date or games lineup - though did confirm that the PS4 games would be included in the same subscription as the PS3 titles.. The company did reveal that some current PS Now subscribers would be emailed in the coming weeks with an invite to a private test of the PS4 streaming service however, so keep an eye on your inbox.