PlayStation Now has been available in the UK, US and Canada for a while now, but only the latter two countries have had a subscription service as part of the cloud gaming platform. That meant that Brits could only rent titles, not get Netflix-style access for one monthly fee.
That's now changed however, with Sony now offering subscription packages for UK gamers too. So there's never been a better time to try out PlayStation Now that, ahem, now.
Of course, you might not be that au fait with the service, so we aim to put that right now. Here's everything you need to know about PlayStation Now.
What is PlayStation Now?
PS Now is a cloud-based service much like Netflix or Spotify, but for gaming. It hosts a wide collection of PlayStation 3 archive titles initially (more than 350 games available in the States, over 150 in the UK), with the potential to include PSOne, PS2, PSP and PS Vita games too in the future. You can access them at your leisure, eventually playing them instantly on any device that has access to the service and a half-decent internet connection.
It uses technology acquired when Sony bought cloud gaming company Gakai, which allows you to play games that are not hosted on your own local consoles or other devices, but on massive servers elsewhere.
In a similar fashion to the now defunct OnLive or Nvidia's GeForce Now service, the video of the game streams over the internet to the display you are using, with controller commands and your actions sent the other way. This happens instantly, so the effect is the same as if you are running a disc at home, but with no need for physical media or long downloads.
Do PS Now games look and play exactly like the games we can play on the PS3 now?
Streamed video is in 720p rather than 1080p. That won't matter on PSOne or PS2 titles, if and when they come along, but a dip in detail and picture sharpness will be noticeable for some of the PS3 line-up. Let's not forget though that a fair few PS3 games run in 720p anyway - including possibly the greatest game for the console, The Last of Us.
Interestingly though, there will be the ability to play multiplayer on certain titles and not just with other PlayStation Now users. Sony has said that in future you will be able to play against gamers using the disc version of the same game on their PlayStation 3 consoles.
PS Now games also reward gamers with Trophies like their disc-based counterparts, and you can still access messages about individual titles. Save games are stored in the cloud too, so you can pick up from where you left off no matter what device you played on last.
What devices is PS Now available on?
In the US, PS Now is available on PS4, PS3, PS Vita, the PlayStation TV set-top-box and select Sony Bravia TVs. Most of the US versions of the Bravia televisions released in the future will support the service too. As will Samsung Smart TVs released in 2015. They will also support the DualShock 3 controller - the same as used by PS3 - in order to play the games.
The UK version is a little more limited, being restricted to PS4, PS3 and select Sony Bravia TVs and Blu-ray players.
READ: PlayStation 4 review
Eventually, Sony plans to expand access to PlayStation Now to other internet connected devices, mobile and tablets included. There is also a suggestion that this will include Apple products too, not just Android devices.
What internet connection do I need for PS Now?
It is recommended that you have a broadband connection of at least 5Mbps. Sony also suggests that you will get a more stable experience if you use a wired connection over a wireless one.
What games are available on PlayStation Now?
At present more than 150 games are available on the platform in the UK, with many more planned to be added over the coming months. Games available the platform include God of War: Ascension, the original inFamous and The Last of Us. A monthly subscription service includes unrestricted access to 100 of the games, while they and the remaining selection can also be rented.
How much does PlayStation Now cost?
Games are available for one-off rental fees or, alternatively, on a Netflix-style monthly subscription model.
Payments are worked out differently in the US and UK, with different rental periods on offer in different regions.
In the States and Canada you can rent single games for four hours from a fee of $1.99 (£1.18) for certain titles, $2.99 for more recent ones. The fees go up to $14.99 for 90 days rental of a single game.
UK gamers can rent games from £2.99 for 48 hours access to some titles, up to £7.99 for 30-days access.
The subscription model in both the UK and US is similar, with the UK price set at £12.99 for 30-days access to 100 games, rolling over each month. In the US and Canada, the same is available for $19.99. Both regions offer a free trial period of a week to start you off.
When and how can I get PS Now?
PS Now is now available for owners of the devices listed above in the US, Canada and UK. It appears on a PS4 homepage now as a separate app but can also be accessed through the PlayStation Store.
What are the alternatives to PS Now?
Sadly, after relaunching a couple of times, OnLive - PlayStation Now's biggest rival - folded, selling its technologies to Sony to help the company improve its service sometime in the future.
The only viable alternative therefore comes from Nvidia, with its lag-free GeForce Now service (formerly known as Grid). It has recently relaunched for Shield TV, Shield Tablet and Shield handheld owners and is capable of streaming games at 1080p in 60 frames per second. There are new games added all the time, but the current list already has a fair share of the biggest PC titles of the last couple of years.