Internet streaming technology has come a long way since the days of streaming internet radio stations over 56k on RealPlayer. Netflix can pump out near HD quality video content, and do it almost immediately. So why is it that Playstation Now, Sony’s game streaming service, just can’t seem to find an audience? It’s simple really: nobody wants to play the games it has to offer.
Not even a fresh batch of role playing games can make the Playstation Now library attractive to most gamers. By offering up a select batch of previous generation Playstation 3 games, Sony isn’t giving anyone a compelling reason to even try the service. Who is their audience for this? Hardcore gamers don’t want to sacrifice anything while playing, so even minimal amounts of lag become unacceptable. And those players have probably already played, or already own, a lot of the games Sony is offering. And do so-called “casual” gamers really see the benefit in playing 8 year old games that they could probably buy used for a couple bucks a piece? I just don’t see a market for this kind of service.
Playstation Now could instantly become a force if it somehow managed to support current Playstation 4 games, and offer a subscription plan that made it the “Netflix of gaming.” Unfortunately, there isn’t a single publisher around who would let Sony use their games in that capacity. As of right now, Playstation Now is just a glorified version of the SEGA Channel.