(Update, 2/16/2017 11:40 p.m. PST: It seems like Sony is cleaning house. The company also announced that PlayStation Video will drop support for "some televisions, Blu-ray Disc players, and audio video products" on April 12. The full list of affected products can be found on the company's website.)
PlayStation Now, a service that allows people to stream PlayStation 3 games, will soon be exclusive to the PlayStation 4 and to Windows computers.
The service is currently available on various TVs, the PS3, the PlayStation Vita, and select Blu-ray players. PlayStation Now made sense for people who missed some PS3 titles or want to relive the console's glory days. It's kind of like a game-centric Netflix: Customers pay a regular fee to access 450-plus games, more than 100 of which are PlayStation exclusives, on compatible devices. That's easier than buying a PS3 and 450 or so games to go with it.
That will change on August 15. Sony announced in a blog post that PlayStation Now will drop support for the following devices:
- PlayStation 3
- PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV
- All 2013, 2014, 2015 Sony Bravia TV models
- All Sony Blu-ray player models
- All Samsung TV models
The only devices left are the PS4 and Windows PCs. Sony explained that shrinking PlayStation Now came after some soul searching:
After thoughtful consideration, we decided to shift our focus and resources to PS4 and Windows PC to further develop and improve the user experience on these two devices. This move puts us in the best position to grow the service even further. If you use any of the above devices, we want to give our heartfelt thanks for your support, and we hope you’ll continue with us. Remember that all of your PS Now cloud game saves can easily be accessed on both PS4 and Windows PC.
Windows support for PlayStation Now--and a $30 adapter that allows PC gamers to use Sony's DualShock 4 controller without a wired connection--arrived in August 2016. The service landed on other devices in May 2015. Thus, it didn't take all that long for Sony to decide that supporting a technological grab bag of devices made less sense than focusing on its current gen console and the world's most popular consumer operating system.
The company advised PlayStation Now subscribers upset about this change to cancel their accounts. PlayStation Now is available in two flavors, a $20 monthly subscription and a $45 quarterly option. Anyone who chose the quarterly option has to be careful to cancel their subscription well before the August 15 cutoff; otherwise, they could end up paying for a couple months of access to a service that no longer supports any of their devices.
Not that it's going to take long for Sony to push PlayStation Now subscribers towards the PS4 and Windows: The service's website lists only PS4 and Windows support on both its landing page and the Devices page. It will be interesting to see how the service fares now that Steam natively supports the DualShock 4. (Some people don't want to play console-first games with a mouse and keyboard.) Many of the games are sure to be available on PC.
Will exclusives be enough to get people to pay $20 a month (or $45 quarterly) to stream games? Sony will find out later this year.