Sony will not be leaving behind Playstation Now as they move into the future with PlayStation 5. Playstation Now is a streaming service offered by Sony that can be used with PCs or Playstation consoles, offering a changing library of games for the price of $20 per month or $100 for the whole year. While it initially only offered PS3 titles to stream, players can now play whichever PS2 and PS4 games are added month-to-month.
Playstation Now has been criticized in the past for a couple of reasons. Some people feel that the price is too high, while others feel that the service is a weak answer to Xbox One's backward compatibility. This bad press only grew when Sony famously turned down EA's own streaming service, EA Access, back in 2014 so that they could promote Playstation Now. This gave Microsoft exclusive use of EA Access on their consoles for a few years.
EA Access is now coming to Playstation, but that doesn't mean Sony is ready to give up on Playstation Now. It sounds like Sony is getting ready to give their in-house streaming venture the marketing it never seemed to get when it came out. In fact, according to Playstation's Jim Ryan in an interview with Financial Times (via: ComicBook), they are going to start marketing the service harder than ever. While he doesn't hint as to exactly what they're going to do (such as a price drop or service expansion), Ryan says that they're gearing up for war, saying, "We are getting more confident with the [PlayStation Now] service and we are really going to start to push it hard this year and in years to follow."
While Playstation Now still has subscribers, it has failed to hit the sought-after 1 million mark in the five years that it's been available. A few of the reasons it has managed to stay afloat are a move to PC and the inclusion of both much older and much more recent games. Still, there has been a noticeable lack of marketing for the service, as well as not many people knowing what Playstation Now even is. With increased competition from EA Access and now Xbox's Game Pass, Sony has to remind its customers about what the service offers and why it's a good value. According to Ryan, that's exactly what they plan to do, adding:
"We obviously have seen the trend in other forms of entertainment towards the mass adoption of streaming as a means of accessing content. It would seem likely - very likely - that gaming will follow that trend."
Time will tell if Playstation Now has the legs to stand up to its competition. Streaming completely changed the worlds of movies and television, and it looks like it's on the verge of doing the same for gaming. While they remain the market leader in the console space by a hefty margin, Sony is looking to the future and does not want to miss out on the the world of streaming video games.