When PlayStation Now introduced the possibility of downloading games, it turned out that this form of access to games is much more popular than the streaming option.
My HDD is my castle
PlayStation Now started as a typical streaming service in 2014, but in September 2018 Sony decided to allow the download of games available in the offer and run them locally. As Sony's CFO Hiroki Totoki explains, this option has been added "for users who want to enjoy the gameplay without worrying about the network connection".
It turns out, however, that this movement had a very significant impact on users and their involvement. Totoki pointed out that just seven months after adding the new option, players spend twice as much time playing downloaded titles as they do streaming them.
For comparison, Microsoft with its Xbox Game Pass was from the very beginning geared towards downloading games by users. Sony has opted for streaming, but the impact of a change in the model of this platform on the interest of players may raise some doubts as to whether fans of digital entertainment need streaming services and whether the latter are able to ensure sufficient quality of gameplay. However, the number of streaming platforms is growing and Microsoft, the manufacturer of Xbox consoles, is also working on its own solution of this type, next to companies such as Google or Nvidia.
PlayStation Now is doing well
In his investor report, Totoki also stressed that the number of PlayStation Now users has been growing by an average of 40% every year since the launch of the platform. Currently, 700,000 users use the service and the subscription prices range from USD 19.99 per month to USD 99.99 per year.
Totoki also pointed out that there are currently 750 titles available in the PlayStation Now database, which is more than three times as many as in the case of Xbox Game Pass.
Sony Interactive Entertainment, however, does not underestimate the threat of new cloud-based services. President Kenichiro Yoshida said diplomatically: "I think it may be a threat, but we need to turn the threat into a chance."