The world of PC/Console unification continues to roll merrily along, with Sony getting into the mix.
We’ve already seen Microsoft’s Xbox Play Anywhere program, which when you buy a game on either Xbox One or Windows gives you the other version free, and combines that with a service that lets you start a game on one platform and continue it on the other. That’s a title specific thing, a game either has it or it doesn’t, and there is no guarantee that the title you want will be available as dual platform.
When Microsoft debuted Xbox Play Anywhere, naturally journalists tracked down someone at Sony and asked them what they thought about Microsoft’s new feature. They were lukewarm, as you might imagine, questioning whether gamers actually wanted such a thing and saying they would take a wait-and-see attitude before trying something similar with PlayStation games.
Fast forward to today. Sony has announced that a PlayStation Now app will be available for your Windows PC. PlayStation Now is a streaming service that, until now, has allowed PS4 owners to play older PS3 games. Now it will allow PC users to do the same thing. Of course, you’ll have to buy a Sony Dualshock 4 controller, but it’s to be expected that when playing a console game on a computer, you’d need a console controller.
There has been some question about whether Sony would allow PS4 games to stream on PlayStation Now. Sony has demurred so far, citing the bandwidth restrictions. We know the technology exists because Sony’s recently deceased PlayStation TV would stream PS4 games from your PS4 console over your home network to any TV screen connected to the PlayStation TV.
The fact that the microconsole was a huge flop and Sony has already killed it after just a year on the market isn’t the point right now. It could definitely stream PS4 games over the network. Admittedly a home network is much faster than the average Internet connection but that’s changing all the time. For just over $100 a month, I’m about to have a one gigabit per second Internet service activated at my house.
I think with PlayStation Now on the PC, Sony has shown us they’re serious about streaming games. Adding PS4 game titles to the service is, in my opinion, something that just has to happen. And that’s Into Gaming, I’m Mark Lautenschlager.