Remote Play gave me an exciting taste of what it’s like to play games without being tied to the television. PlayStation Now is the next big step. For the first time ever, console gamers get to have access to a massive shared library. They will ultimately be able to enjoy the content anywhere — at home, on a lunch break, or at Starbucks. They will be able to freely and instantly test out games without having to decide if they are worth paying for upfront. They get to explore every nook and cranny of every game world for only fifteen dollars a month. If you’re a core gamer, and you start playing these games, it will actually bring the cost of your hobby down. And that’s awesome.
The service works on PlayStation 4, VITA, PlayStation TV, PlayStation 3, and select Sony and Samsung TV sets. Barring any unexpected first party struggles, it will probably appear on the most popular tablets and phones down the line. Browsers, too. One can also imagine that the library will eventually evolve to cover other consoles… like the PSOne, PS2, and yes, the PS4.
At the start, this revolution will seem small. Niche. But if you’re reading this, and if you subscribe to the service, you already know that it’s much more than what it initially appears to be. PS Plus and Netflix have already proven that “feels like free” is basically the same thing emotionally as “free”. Every update will feel like a gift. This is how your parents and non-gamer friends will stumble into console video games. They won’t have to buy a system… they can just give the service a spin through the TV they already own (though you might have to kick in for the Dual Shock 4 as a Christmas Gift).
And from a community standpoint, we have a carefully curated selection of games to enjoy together. Where to begin? It’s tempting to go right to titles likeThe Last of Us or Bioshock Infinite, but isn’t it more interesting to try out something new? But what’s worth our time? And if something we try out seems a bit crappy to begin with, are we missing out if we abandon it early?
I will be aiming to commit to playing three hours of a PS Now game every week, and report back with my feelings on it. I’ll let you know how the first hour is, and whether I aim to keep playing after the third hour. This isn’t a comprehensive approach, but the first bite of a meal is usually what defines weather or not you like it, anyway. And by giving it three hours, I’ll be able to tell if the game’s key hooks are actually built to last.
I have thought of many different strategies for choosing the games… play in alphabetical order? Or in order of Metacritic score? At the end of the day, I have decided to effectively pick the game name out of a hat. I’ll use a random number generator, which will select the game for me. I will then announce the week before what the title will be, in case anyone wants to play along and share notes when I post about the game. It won’t cost anything for PSNow subscribers to check out the game I’m talking about.
I can tell you that this week, the number generator selected the 205th game on the list (listed alphabetically) —Planet Minigolf, but Zen Studios. That write-up will be here soon.