This week, Sony announced that its PlayStation Now service is picking up a crucial feature that will be familiar to Xbox Game Pass fans: The ability to download games to the console.
“Starting today, you will be able to stream as well as download PlayStation Now games to your PS4 system so that you can play both locally and offline, all with a single subscription,” PlayStation Senior Marketing Manager Brian Dunn announced. “Almost all PS4 games in the service will be available for download, in addition to the PS Now lineup of classic PS2 games remastered for PS4.”
When Microsoft first launched Xbox Game Pass in early 2017, it was naturally compared to PlayStation Now, as both services are similar at a high level. But there has been a key difference between the two: Where Xbox Game Pass is download-only with no streaming capabilities, PS Now has been streaming-only with no download capabilities.
Both approaches have their merits, but I’ve always kind of recoiled at the oft-touted notion that Xbox Game Pass is somehow “the Netflix of video games.” It’s not. PS Now has always fit that bill better. And now that it offers both downloading and streaming, the comparison makes even more sense.
Anyway, this is great news for PlayStation fans. And a reasonable time to remind Microsoft that it needs to get its streaming capabilities going sooner rather than later.