PlayStation Plus vs. PlayStation Now: What Is The Difference?

Is PlayStation Now better than PlayStation Plus? Are the subscriptions worth it? This guide will answer all those questions and more, helping you pick the right service for your needs.

With Sony now having two different subscription services in PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus, a lot of people have been asking if they should be a PS Now member or a PS Plus member. They've also been wondering: "Do I have to pay for both to get all that PlayStation has to offer?". 

Are PS Now and PS Plus Worth It? 

We at GameSkinny decided to find out what the difference is between these two similar services. Here's the quick rundown: 

PlayStation Now is a subscription-based game streaming service that can be best described as the video-game version of Netflix.

PlayStation Plus is Sony's response to Microsoft's Xbox Live; it has discounts and a number of free games each month for PS Plus users.

A lot of players get the two subscription services confused because both essentially do the same thing: let you play popular games you love for free. However, they both do it in slightly different ways.

PlayStation Now 

Much like Netflix, PS Now lets you: 

  • Stream popular titles from PS Now's massive library of more than 250 games; the service now has PS4 games
  • Stream games to your PS4,  PS3, PS Vita, Sony Television, and tablet
  • Play the most updated versions of the games in the PS Now library, as well as the games you own.

PlayStation Now currently has two subscription plans: $19.99 a month or $44.99 for three months. There is also a rental option for specific titles that you might like to play, although not all titles have this option.

A graphic showing the devices on which you can stream PS Now games, including PS4 PS3 PS Vita

PlayStation Plus 

PS Plus is a bit different -- is a required component of online play for many PS4 games. Besides that it gives you: 

  • Access to free games each month; Sony will begin phasing out free games for PS3 and PS Vita in 2018
  • Exclusive discounts (up to 75% off) in the PlayStation store
  • Early access to demos and betas
  • 3GB of cloud storage on PS Plus

A PlayStation Plus membership currently still works across your PS3 and PS Vita, but it will soon be PS4 exclusive. Automatic game patches and exclusive access to early game content is also a perk of PS Plus.

There is a 14-day trial for people who have never tried PlayStation Plus before, but for others, there are a few options when it comes to membership plans:

  • 1-Month Membership: $9.99.
  • 3-Month Membership: $17.99 (about $6/month).
  • 12-Month Membership: $49.99 (about $5/month).

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While both of Sony's subscription services will appeal to the casual gamer, they are ultimately geared toward two types of players.

If you a gamer that likes to play a lot of games and enjoy the games Sony has amassed over the years, PS Now gives you that option with instant access to a vast collection of games that can be streamed across a variety of devices. 

If you are the type of gamer that needs early access to the latest betas, demos, and games, then PS Plus gives you that -- and discounts on some of the more popular titles in PlayStation's library. 

Ultimately, the answer to, "Is PlayStation Now better than PlayStation Plus" is up to you. In fact, there's nothing holding you back from subscribing to the both!

Leave a comment below to let us know which would you choose and why. And stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on both PS Plus and PS Now as it develops. 

Published Nov. 8th 2015

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