PlayStation launching cloud streaming for PS Plus subscribers

PlayStation has announced an upcoming feature that will allow PS Plus Premium subscribers to stream PS5 games from the cloud.
playstation plus collection

In a brief update on the PlayStation Blog, Sony’s VP of Global Services Nick Maguire announced a new feature coming to the PS Plus subscription service, specifically for its highest Premium tier – cloud game streaming for PS5 games.

The feature will let players immediately begin playing games from the PS Plus Game Catalog (which is already included with the subscription tier), as well as Game Trials, and any ‘supported digital PS5 titles’ that the user may own. Maguire says that streaming capability will also be explored for future PS5 titles.

There is currently no timeframe for the launch of the feature, as it is currently in testing.

PS Plus Premium already has some cloud streaming capabilities included in its subscription package. Those subscribed have the ability to stream PlayStation 3 games as part of the Classics Catalog.

Certain regions around the world do not support Sony’s cloud streaming infrastructure however, and as a result, do not have access to the ‘Premium’ tier of PS Plus. These markets are instead offered an alternative ‘Deluxe‘ tier that comes with all the benefits of Premium, minus cloud streaming and PS3 games.

As such, the upcoming PS5 cloud streaming features will likely only be available in markets where PS Plus Premium is already available, such as North America and Europe. Regions where PS Plus Deluxe replaces Premium, such as Australia and New Zealand, will not get access to the feature.

Poorer network infrastructure in these regions is usually the cited reason for the absence of such services, however, several rival cloud streaming offerings have successfully launched in these markets, such as Xbox Cloud Gaming and GeForce Now.

The advantages of cloud game streaming exist in the speed of access to games, as it negates the need for hefty downloads. Digital downloads for modern blockbuster video games can be as big as 100GB, but cloud game streaming utilises an already-installed, server-side version of the game, essentially treating it as a video feed to the end user.

Cloud game streaming allows for greater access to games too, as players are typically restricted to playing games on a console – but web browsers, phones, and smart TVs can all be conduits.

As to the quality of the cloud gaming experience, that’s something that can be highly variable. Even at its best, it won’t match the experience of playing a locally-installed game. But for many, the convenience it offers is a satisfactory tradeoff to make.

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Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran