A mere seven years after it launched, PlayStation Now, Sony’s game streaming service, will finally begin serving up game streams at a “Full HD”, 1080p resolution.
Yep – not 4K, not even 1440p, 1080p. Until now, players streaming games from Sony’s cloud gaming service had to make do with a lowly 720p maximum streaming resolution.
The news came courtesy of the official PlayStation Twitter account, which announced that this updated resolution will roll out “over the next several weeks across Europe, US, Canada, and Japan”.
PlayStation Now will begin rolling out support for streaming 1080p capable games this week.The rollout will occur over the next several weeks across Europe, US, Canada, and Japan, where PlayStation Now is available. pic.twitter.com/OEHWHtMTw8April 22, 2021
Ahead of the game, but behind the pack
Available on everything from a PS Vita to a PS5 to a PC, PlayStation Now was a step ahead of the console gaming competition when it first went into beta testing in mid-2014. Though services like OnLive had attempted similar over-the-air game streaming feats, Sony’s catalog of exclusives made it seem a sure-fire hit.
But as time rolled on, Sony’s interest in the service seemed to wane, with little advancement in the technology. It was only the growing popularity of Microsoft’s rival Xbox Game Pass subscription service that seemed to make PlayStation Now a concern again, with Sony eventually adding downloads to the service to match Microsoft’s attack.
The streaming element of the service continued to languish though, and with upstarts like Google Stadia offering 4K streaming as standard, the 720p PlayStation Now ceiling seemed particularly quaint. Microsoft too now offers game streaming alongside downloads with its Game Pass Ultimate package. A 1080p update is very welcome then, but still some way behind the competition in a sector that Sony went some way towards creating itself.