PlayStation Now is a chance for gamers to find out what they might have missed from Sony's past
Michael Pachter has a habit of speaking negatively about Sony. This week, he proclaimed that Sony doesn’t have a lot of first party content during an episode of Bonus Round with Geoff Keighly. The two were discussing the future of PlayStation Now. Pachter was talking about how the service’s challenge will be getting third party content for the PS4’s streaming service. Keighly mentioned that Sony has a lot of first party content, to which Pachter responded with “a lot is a stretch…they have thirty games.”
We can assume that he’s talking about the entirety of the PlayStation universe, dating back to the days of the original PlayStation console. Let’s name some franchises, shall we? Ape Escape, Crash Bandicoot, MediEvil, Ratchet & Clank, Jak and Daxter, God of War, Uncharted, Parappa the Rapper, Twisted Metal, WipEout… I can go on. Saying that Sony will only have thirty first party games to offer for PlayStation Now is a bit of a stretch, seeing as I just named ten franchises and could probably list off twenty more.
That being said, Pachter’s statements aren’t much of a stretch either. Before his pipe bomb, two really interesting points were made. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an online streaming service. GameTap launched in 2005 and would eventually feature over 1,000 games from big name publishers. All of these games had to be licensed, though. Once those licenses ran out, publishers didn’t opt to renew, and GameTap slowly faded away into obscurity. OnLive still exists today, but lacks any titles from Activision and EA, two of the biggest publishers out there, and is a general afterthought in the gaming world.
Michael Pachter’s main point in the story wasn’t exactly a shot at Sony, but instead that the success of these streaming services depend the games that are offered. Sony has shown that they’re able to secure marquee titles for PlayStation Plus. BioShock Infinite, Sleeping Dogs, and Borderlands 2 have all been offered as a part of the Instant Game Collection. They’ve demonstrated that they can offer third party games on their own services. They’ve some to play with the PlayStation 4, unafraid to fire shots across the aisle. There’s no reason to think that PlayStation Now will be different. Will they get every big name game? Absolutely not. This isn't a digital distribution service where you pay full price for a game, but instead a digital version of GameFly. Instead of waiting for the games to arrive in the mail, they're waiting to be streamed to your device.
Here's the thing, though. PlayStation Now doesn't need to be a digital distribution service. It needs to be a Sony digital distribution service. It needs to say "hey, did you miss out on these PS1 and PS2 games we made? Now's your chance to play them!" "Want to find out why everyone is so excited about this 'new' Uncharted game? Come play the old ones without having to buy a PlayStation 3!" It's a fantastic way to circumvent the backwards compability issue by allowing gamers who didn't own a PS3/PS2/PS1 to pick up a PS4 without missing a title from Sony's catalog.
The games will be there, that can be assured. The chance to catch up on games people missed out on because they weren’t old enough/didn’t have the console/didn’t have the time is too hard to pass up.
Jake Valentine isn't afraid to speak his mind, no matter how different his opinion may be. He does this often on Twitter, where you can follow him @hop3less. Just be prepared for lots of board games, Magic: the Gathering, sports, wrestling, and food.