Sony’s PlayStation Now Netflix-Style Game Streaming Rental Subscription Service To Launch Jan. 13

psnow_trailer_logoIt’s been a full year since Sony announced their Playstation Now streaming game service at last year’s CES. The streaming, cloud-based, Netflix-style solution to keeping old video games available on newer hardware seemed like a great idea, but details (and access) were slow to materialize.

But, after a year, the details are finally here. Sony announced in a blog post today that the subscription service is finally launching on January 13. PlayStation 4 owners will be able to subscribe to the tune of $20 per month, or get on a three-month plan for $45.

As compared to the original announcement for PlayStation Now, the service is still lacking in two key ways. The first is that PlayStation Now is, for the time being, only available on the PlayStation 4 — despite early plans to stream directly to other Sony-branded products like tablets and smart TVs. Sony might be planning to tiptoe away from the traditional set-top console cycle, but those steps are, so far, infinitesimal.

The other half of it is the content. Sony’s promising “instant and unlimited access” to “a large and diverse catalog” of over 100 PlayStation 3 games for that fee — but that’s only PlayStation 3 games. For all that PlayStation Now has been touted as a solution to vanishing backward compatibility, there are still two generations of PlayStation titles that aren’t available on the service. Sony has indicated that eventually they plan to make PS1 and PS2 titles available to stream, but for now the company is still being vague about plans, timetables, or any other details.

Still, despite not quite being everything Sony promised a year ago, the subscription service is a much better deal than the exorbitantly expensive single-game streaming rentals Sony unveiled over the summer. For players who want to catch up on games they missed between 2006 and 2013, it might be the way to go. Provided, of course, that your broadband service cooperates.

PlayStation Now Subscription Program: All The Details [Sony PlayStation official blog]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.