Gaming has taken an interesting turn away from physical media you’d have to place in the gaming device and is now embracing streaming. Similar to other subscriptions services, gaming subscriptions allow you to pay a monthly fee for access to a catalog of games that can be streamed. That said, not all subscriptions function the same way and some don’t function much like subscriptions, at all. Fast and reliable internet connection is the only common thread running through the services we compare and contrast below.
The good: You don’t need a PlayStation console to stream games. You can use your PC to access the variety of games PlayStation has to offer. As long as you have 5 Mbps of online download speed and a Dual Shock 4 controller, you’re in business. Multiplayer support is available if you’re playing from your PS4, and you’re now able to download games straight onto your system.
Something to think about: PlayStation Now demands a high-speed internet and is the most expensive of any of the gaming streaming services. There’s also a noticeable drop in visual quality as opposed to using the console. Microsoft is said to be addressing this issue and will be upgrading the service.
Cost: Free, kind of
The good: Geforce Now is a bit different than the other gaming services. You can download it on any Mac (10.10 or higher), PC (can be a low-end, 64 bit PC) or Nvidia Shield. You can then stream games like Assassin’s Creed Origins, PlayersUnknown’s Battleground, Middle Earth: Shadow of War, and Injustice 2.
Something to think about: You have to purchase the games individually to play them on Geforce Now. There’s no monthly service fee like the other game streaming services and a four-hour gaming limit before you’re required to save your session. Geforce is also currently in beta so there’s a waiting list you’ll have to sign up for.
The good: Jump is the go-to platform for indie games. It’s low price point and promise of no-latency are reasons enough to “jump” on this streaming service (pun intended). Mac, Windows PC, Linux PC are all compatible as are the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets. There are also no microtransactions, which is a cool feature for this type of service.
Something to think about: In order to run games through Jump, it accesses your local hardware. And though the games on Jump tend not to be taxing, it’s still something to consider.
Butter keeps you on top of your gaming subscriptions
Whichever of these subscriptions you choose, the Butter app can help you manage your gaming subscriptions. Know when your payments are happening, how much is being debited from your account, and discover new subscriptions you may not have heard about.