The future of video games is now with PlayStation Now

Electronics giant Sony has a solution for college students who can’t afford to purchase the latest video games. This summer they will launch PlayStation Now, a video game delivery service that will stream PS1, PS2 and PS3 games to Internet-connected devices for a monthly subscription fee.

Many UTSA students enjoy playing video games in their downtime away from work and school, but it is difficult to keep up with since video games are expensive. For students on a tight budget and paying $40-$60 for a brand new video game every few weeks isn’t realistic. At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, Sony officially revealed the service, answering the cries of millions of college gamers who have limited funds for their favorite past-time.

“The tethers that have constrained consumption for decades… soon dissolve,” says Sony CEO Kaz Hirai. This means that if you’re in a library in need of a study break, eating lunch in the cafeteria or riding the bus, you will be able to play top-notch console games with the same ease that you’ve come to expect from music and movie streaming services.

PlayStation Now streams video games through the cloud and allows subscribers to play them in real time on a wide range of devices. Think about Netflix and how it streams films to your internet-connected devices. Now replace movies with video games and you understand what Playstation Now is all about. There will be a large catalog of PlayStation content to choose from with games dating back to the original PlayStation, like “Crash Bandicoot,” and newer titles, like “Naughty Dog’s” impressive 2013 PS3 title, “The Last of Us.”

Worried about the speed of your internet connection? On-campus housing is notorious for not having the greatest internet speeds so you would be wise to wonder if you even qualify for this service. Don’t be. As Sony suggests a relatively slow 5MB internet speed to get the most enjoyment out of PlayStation Now.

“After a few minutes of play I forgot that I was ‘streaming a game’ – I was just getting absorbed in playing ‘The Last of Us,’” says Sony Computer Entertainment of America’s Social Media Manager Sid Shuman. “I also fired up ‘Puppeteer’ and ‘God of War: Ascension,’ and the experience was similarly convincing.”

As of now Sony hasn’t announced how much the service will cost, but the popular speculation is that it will be close to $15. Games will also be available to rent on a per title basis if you don’t want to pay for monthly streaming.

So what’s the catch? Surely you’ll need a Sony-branded PlayStation device in order to get in on all of the gaming fun, right? That won’t be necessary as PlayStation Now will be available on non-Sony branded tablets, smartphones and smart TVs in the future. Yes, that means that your iPhone will soon be able to play blockbuster video game franchises like “Uncharted,” “Metal Gear Solid” and more.

Touch screen controls might get the job done for some light sessions of “Angry Birds” on your iPad but they won’t suffice for Sony’s library of PlayStation games. The only item users will have to purchase other than a subscription fee will be a Dual Shock 3 controller, an easy barrier of entry to swallow considering how much a person will save over buying each game available for streaming individually at retail price.

The future of how consumers access video games is changing. Too often enthusiasts will stop using their game devices because the cost of software is too intimidating. Countless students across the country and at UTSA have probably stopped buying games for the devices they own due to the fact that they don’t have the time or money to do so. With PlayStation Now, playing the latest video games will be infinitely more convenient, leaving a world of interactive experiences at your fingertips whenever and wherever you need it.