In the wake of Google cutting off access to its cloud gaming platform in January of this next year, many companies and individuals alike are taking the opportunity to throw gamers a lifeboat by way of allocating information and resources and even in some cases, providing refuge. Services like Xbox Game Pass, Amazon Luna, and Nvidia GeForce NOW are all still available to play, and together, they offer most of the same games that Stadia did, aside from a few platform exclusives that have now had to find a way over to PC and consoles to avoid disappearing forever.
Refuge for cloud gamers
Most recently, Samsung Gaming on Twitter posted these graphics showing which Stadia games reside on which services, and tied it up nicely with a bow stating that Samsung’s Gaming Hub interconnects with each of those providers. However, there’s one player that almost everyone is neglecting to mention, and because of the current circumstances, my eyes have been drawn back to my first love – Sony.
Don’t forget about PlayStation Plus
Ever since I was young, I basked in the amazing storytelling and action-oriented gameplay of PlayStation games, and like many of you, I grew up through each PlayStation console generation. Xbox may be doing an amazing job right now with the Game Pass approach, but Sony has historically done better and has retained a much larger audience. Sadly, the company has staggered a bit against its competitors when it comes to cloud gaming, despite having been first to the game with its Gaikai streaming technology.
When it was announced that its Plus subscription service would be revamped, I was stoked. PlayStation Now already had almost a thousand games, but it failed to get any traction due to its horrible streaming reliability, and lack of new release titles, but this renewed PlayStation Plus was set to be different.
Comparing PlayStation and Stadia
Well, it’s finally here, and most of the internet is busy ragging on it for being less impressive than they thought it would be. I, on the other hand, have realized the value and potential in it, along with its negatives, and even with all of that in mind, I think it’s great. The streaming quality, at least from my time using it, has been greatly improved, and the curation of offerings has been tightened up and includes more modern and new-release titles.
Last month, Premium tier subscribers received a slew of Dragon Quest and Assassin’s Creed games as well as Super Hot. There are frequent sales on titles like Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order and other high-quality games I owned on Stadia. A large quantity of Stadia Pro titles are already a part of the PlayStation cloud streaming and games catalogs, including Paw Patrol and other family-friendly entries that my son previously enjoyed on the Chromecast before the devastating news dropped.
I know that most people won’t pay for Premium, but when I look at how much I spent on Stadia (the same amount per year) and what PlayStation Plus Premium is offering, and then I add in my childhood loyalty to Sony’s brand (and then sprinkle God of War: Ragnarok, FFXVI and other upcoming exclusives on top) it’s a no-brainer for me.
Sony isn’t without its problems
Of course, there are plenty of games that are simply not available outside of the PlayStation console hardware, and the company’s PC app, which does allow you to cloud stream, is not available on my Steam Deck or via Linux whatsoever, so my options are much more limited compared to the availability of Stadia, which was on like, everything, everywhere all at once. These problems aside, which I do believe will be solved in time, I’ve made my mind up.
Many of the same games from Luna and GeForce NOW are on PlayStation as well, but you don’t see anyone talking about that. Perhaps it’s because most folks still can’t get their hands on a PlayStation 5, and that’s fair, but I still think Sony’s services are a viable talking point for those looking for a new cloud gaming home – flaws and all.
Don’t knock it until you try it
If you’d like to try it out, you can sign up and compare plans. Premium is $119.99 per year – the same price as Stadia Pro, and if you like a game, you can just buy it outright – just like Stadia. You get free monthly games just like Stadia, and access to hundreds of cloud-streamed titles…just like Stadia. The major difference is that, unlike Google, Sony is all in on gaming. I know this is a controversial opinion, but what else would I be while writing about gaming but controversial, right? I call it like I see it, and I think jumping on the bandwagon to hate on PlayStation Plus is just kind of silly without first taking a look and giving it an honest try.