Sony has recently announced a new service that will allow people to rent and stream digital copies of PlayStation games—even if they don’t own any Sony consoles. PlayStation Now is a cloud-based streaming platform for games that can run on both PlayStation-affiliated consoles and non-Sony platforms like iPads, iPhones, and some Android devices. Despite the name, the service is not actually available now, but interested parties can sign up to receive up-to-date news about it at PlayStation’s website.
PlayStation Now will require an internet speed of at least 5 megabits per second in order to work properly. For people who already own a Sony console, this streaming service will function as a digital rental system. Meanwhile, folks who own non-Sony devices can use it to try out games without having to purchase a console.
This subscription model may pose a threat to other game rental services like Gamefly and Redbox. Expect the launch of PlayStation Now to also re-open discussions as to how brick-and-mortar videogame storefronts like Gamestop will survive in comparison to online marketplaces, as well as what the future of digital game distribution, rentals, and “used game” sales will look like for both Sony and other console manufacturers.