PlayStation Now has been kicking around on Sony’s gaming devices since last summer. Up to now, it’s been like a digital Blockbuster, selling one-off timed rentals from a selection of games that never includes the one you’re looking for. Today, Sony announced that it’s upgrading that Blockbuster to a Netflix with the launch of an unlimited streaming subscription on January 13th.
Plans will only be available to North American PlayStation 4 owners—according to the official PlayStation announcement, they’ll reach other devices “in the future”—and will run you either $20 for one month or $45 for three. The current catalog for subscribers is limited to 104 PlayStation 3 games, and though new games are added periodically, it’s a significantly different and slimmer selection than that available for the one-time rentals. (For instance, The Last Of Us is currently only a part of the unlimited subscription, whereas Infamous 2 is only playable as a timed rental.)
Still, the core of the service remains the same. It’s a game-streaming platform where you essentially play your rental on a system somewhere far away while the video gets beamed to your TV, creating the illusion that you’re playing it on your own console. Even better, there’s no downloading necessary. All that is necessary is a stellar Internet connection, and the patience to put up with occasional freezes and on-screen action that lags slightly behind the buttons you’re pushing.