Report: PlayStation Now streaming service load times improving

Beta period for Sony's new streaming service moves into second phase, and user reports that load times are getting much better.

The beta period for Sony's new streaming service PlayStation Now has moved into its second phase, and one user is reporting that load times are improving substantially.

A DualShockers tipster provided a list of all the games included in the PlayStation Now beta and compares the load times with that of the first phase. The load times were clocked using the same Internet connection and are shown to improve across the board.

In the chart below, you can see a list of all the games included with the PlayStation Now beta so far, as well as load time comparisons (in seconds) where available.

  • Shadow of the Colossus -- 46.72 (old time: 53.98)
  • WipeOut HD -- 57.19
  • Dead Nation -- 40.05
  • PixelJunk Monsters -- 39.90
  • Shatter -- 38.86 (old time: 39.77)
  • Guacamelee! -- 32.36
  • Disgaea 4 -- 33.30 (old time: 47.12)
  • Dead or Alive 5 -- 36.55 (old time: 51.10)
  • Critter Crunch -- 38.37
  • Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond -- 35.81
  • Zeno Clash II -- 35.62
  • Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon -- 32.28
  • Puzzle Quest: Galactrix – 36.45
  • Rise of the Guardians -- 35.12
  • Dead Island -- 36.22
  • PAYDAY: The Heist -- 37.03
  • Order Up!! -- 35.66
  • Alien Rage -- 39.27
  • Real Steel -- 35.82

Dualshockers notes that in the first wave of the PlayStation Now beta, all of the games (except one) had a loading time of "well above" 40 seconds, while half were above 50 seconds. In the second phase of the beta, all but three required 40 seconds of shorter to load.

Obviously, load times will vary depending on your available bandwidth. For its part, Sony says you'll want at least a 5Mbps Internet connection to enjoy a good experience, but we don't know what kind of Internet connection the supplier of this data had.

An improvement in loading times for PlayStation Now throughout the various stages of beta is to be expected. After all, that is what a beta is for. Still, the load time improvement is good news and with months to go before its targeted "summer" launch, it's possible that the service could get even better.

PlayStation Now runs on technology from Gaikai, the streaming service provider Sony purchased in 2012 for $380 million. You'll be able to rent games on a title-by-title basis or as part of a wider Netflix-like subscription package. The service is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita, as well as Bravia TVs and an array of smartphones and tablets.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

119 comments
theKSMM
theKSMM

"Obviously, load times will vary depending on your available bandwidth."

This is untrue.  One of the major advantages of streaming is that the game is launched and played on a server, not on your local machine.  That server load time happens independently of your Internet speed.  

My guess is that Sony is dedicating more hardware to this effort on the server side.  That may include having servers with the game already launched even before a user has selected it.  A game that is already loaded should take no more time to start than a YouTube video.

tendoboy1984
tendoboy1984

I'm so excited for this. I've always wanted a "gaming buffet" subscription service like Netflix. I'm surprised Microsoft isn't planning anything like this, because they've been pushing cloud gaming hard with the Xbox One.

Marky360
Marky360

Sounds interesting just got my PS4 this past weekend so I'm ready to at lest give it a shot.

PSYCHOV3N0M
PSYCHOV3N0M

I'll stick with my original 60GB fatty PS3 thanks.....

iknow1991
iknow1991

Sony needs to import all ps1 games on playstation store

I really like too play twisted metal 4

As now I have to buy it on disc = <

CosmicD
CosmicD

Wow, if you're gonna need 5 megaBYTESs up, i'm screwed, because our company has like  14 mb down, and 600kilobytes up because they cap the upload. I hope there's going to be some arrangement where ps4's can use more upload for this, because I would like to buy beyond 2 souls and kula world.

keichimorisato9
keichimorisato9

looks like someone broke the confidentiality or what ever it is agreement. if i was part if PS Now, i wouldn't do that, mostly because i prefer to play by the rules when i sign a user agreement.

teller76567
teller76567

I'm sorry but are people having a fit over a load time that is less then a minute?

lordquasar
lordquasar

I wish I could just put a disc in and play. Like all my PS1 games XD

4quarters
4quarters

Im in the beta, with a 13meg speed I struggled to play anything first week. Most games have gotten much better to playabbility. Load times are fine, its the occassional lag or pixelization that kills it. But...its getting better, huge potential here. Very easy to use.

jackzor123
jackzor123

Anyone know if you can stream PS3 games to PS4? Would love to see that, I think I read about it from last years E3 but it might've been bollocks. Either way I think it's a good service idea, would definitely use it

kye-mc
kye-mc

I will believe the Gaikai service is actually relevant to Sony at all when the 30fps Cap is removed from remote play for direct connect. THERE SHOULD BE AN OPTION, Ridiculous!

sakaixx
sakaixx

this is how you use the cloud properly. please let it be cheap sony :D

Arachnofunk
Arachnofunk

I don't give a f*** about this service, long live the physical consoles and games. 

tom2750
tom2750

will this have PS1 and PS2 games? or will the PSN store on the PS4 get PS1 and PS2 games to download off i won't use this for PS3 games really because i bought nearly ever PS3 game i want i have almost 200 games for my PS3 theres only like 50-70 more games on the PS3 i want and i will buy them all on physical copy or download them so i will only use this if it has PS1 and PS2 games even then i don't know if i will be able to i only have a connection speed of 6.7mbps and yes thats higher then the requirement but only slightly and i am not the only one that uses internet in my house so other people using it at the same time will take some of the speed away to be used on this service plus i have a cap of 200gb a month i had 500gb but for some reason it just randomly changed back down to 200gb

drodriguesaar
drodriguesaar

Nice! I would love to play PS1 and PS2 games. Keep the good work!

eternal_napalm
eternal_napalm

I had a 360 last gen. Cannot wait to finally be able to play God of War 3 and Uncharted

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

Not gonna use that crap system so couldn't care less. I mean seriously 'rent' a game that can go offline at any moment? no thanks.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

"Obviously, load times will vary depending on your available bandwidth."

No, no they won't, that's not how streaming works. All the loading happens on the server's end, irrespective of the user's connection speed. Loading data from a hard drive into RAM, and streaming video to the player, are two different things.

dolemike626
dolemike626

not really wanting this anymore. if it was like netflix , 20 wouldnt be bad. i would bite. but now on a game , no

Tigerbite2
Tigerbite2

I was invited to the beta on March 27th.  Filled it out, said wait for an e-mail.  Never got an e-mail.  DOWN WITH SONY!


...until I get that e-mail.

StHapns247
StHapns247

The success of this service will determine when and if I buy a PS4. Having the entire Sony library available on a single console for a small (hopefully) monthly fee or rent-by-day sounds really good to me.

tendoboy1984
tendoboy1984

I'd much rather have an all you can eat subscription model like Netflix or GameFly.

BradBurns
BradBurns

@Arachnofunk  I agree to an extent.

I'd love it if they could pull a game Netflix outta their asses.

Thad be sweet..

BamaGoatt
BamaGoatt

@tom2750  no ps1 & ps2 games are supposed to be getting an emulator to play them. Or at least that was the rumor I read crossing fingers that it's true.

coodyb
coodyb

If you've got a good headset/headphones n like shooters you should grab Killzone 2 & 3 too. Killzone 3 for me was the best shooter experience I've EVER had gaming when I played it in 3D n with my Pulse headset on loud.

It's graphics and audio are so unique and it's intense as HELL n such a brilliant series from KZ2 onward. Don't let rival fanboys put you off the KZ games, it's BS that it's a bad series. Each game got at least an 8/8.5 in reviews m as I said, with headset on loud, lights off too if possible, it's an unbelievable game.

Also, what about The Last of Us? Uncharted trilogy is a masterpiece too but The Last of Us is really PS3s best game and unmissable by anybody who claims to be a gamer,

God of War 3! Oh yes. The start of that game is the biggest and most epic to ANY game.

DrKill09
DrKill09

@eternal_napalm  This service is STILL never going to be like running an actual ps3.  I suggest you get one.


Hell, I had a 360, but sold it and bought a ps3 after all the RROD's it had.  Only game I miss is Saints Row 1.

tendoboy1984
tendoboy1984

It's a subscription service like Netflix and GameFly, with the option to rent games individually.

SavageEvil
SavageEvil

@Kinguard73  Lol, what? You play online games don't you and what happens when it goes offline? You start it up over again, unless you mean getting pulled off line permanently? Honestly you sound like a 4 year old thinking that dumb. These companies have contracts that require them to notify paying consumers about the retiring of any of their services. Keep thinking along those lines, you probably still refer to genitals as thingy and who who.

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@Spartan_418  

Actually that is EXACTLY how it works. Your bandwidth speed is the final bottleneck, so if you have a slow connection the game will load onto your system slower and be more susceptible to latency and lag since it streams. The end system still has to load data via the stream. 

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

@dolemike626  Still in beta. This isn't supposed to be released until the end of summer I think. They've made good progress for the short period it has been available so you might see it improve significantly before it is released.


Besides, plenty of games still have hefty load times anyway.

SavageEvil
SavageEvil

@Tigerbite2  check your junk mail, sometimes things end up in there randomly. I've gotten two separate invites when I was already part of the Beta.

Vexov
Vexov

@StHapns247  I'm not on board if its rent a day or even week, but I might XB1 on that(that means a 180). I just really much prefer paying $10 a month then go back to renting things, RL happens and games aren't 1hr and 30mins.

thebeachguy90
thebeachguy90

@Blazen702 LOL more people will want this than ANYONE will ever want Kinect. you're angry, a very angry Xbox fanboy.  We'll get our heads out of Sony's ass when you get yours out of MS's.

battlefront1943
battlefront1943

@Blazen702 These are test games and I can tell you this...  a lot of people are very interested in this service.


Also, yes Gaikai was purchased by Sony for its infrastructure, but much of said infrastructure has been updated dramatically since Sony partnered with Rackspace using Openstack (worldwide cloud ecosystem created jointly with NASA).  You may want to think Sony's cloud is limited to a streaming service, but it's far, far from the truth.  PLAYSTATION NOW is simply the first service using their cloud.

Educate yourself please.

teller76567
teller76567

@Blazen702  This might be true but no one really liked it well maybe the concept but that's about it. An now it's forced and it was originally forced with the high gig model of the slim tell they came out with the 4 gig slim model. It was a forced act when people wanted more memory people didn't want a Kinect they wanted the high memory space. So it makes me wonder how many people really wanted the Kinect or the 250 gig hard drive that came in the slim model. But they did make a 250 gig model way after selling Kinect bundles...

thebeachguy90
thebeachguy90

@Blazen702 Yea because it's too integrated with the console for it not to be used. AKA FORCED.  MIllions have spoken, they do not want that piece of shit.  It has brought absolutely NOTHING to gaming.   PS Now is the Netflix of gaming and we all know Netflix is the most popular streaming service in the world.  Now we have a gaming version of it and you're saying no one wants it lol.  GTFO. You're just angry and full of hate.  That's why you troll PS articles all the time. You're angry, upset, lost soul,  you don't know what to do with yourself anymore.  Go hug the person closest to you.

thebeachguy90
thebeachguy90

@Blazen702 Hey dumbass that was a completely different time, you know when consumers bought it out of MS's empty promises and before they knew what a ripoff it's gonna be. Now people are willing to pay extra for a kinect-less Xbox. Sorry your piece of shit gimmick is such a failure and has no identity.

hystavito
hystavito

@Blazen702  I haven't done loads of research but I will say this, companies have told us about how great these systems are many times, going way back to the times when a cloud was just a thing up in the sky :), doesn't mean it's true.


I don't believe Azure is revolutionary or somehow so much better than every other "cloud" service out there.  And when you talk about the number of servers, well that is hard to evaluate because there is no standard of what constitutes a single "server" that can be used to compare between services.


Now licking any cloud service's balls, yes, that I do not agree with or recommend :).

Blazen702
Blazen702

First Gaikai has only 9000 servers vs Azure over 300,000. 2nd it's funny how you Sony fanboys dismiss azure which is 1000x's more advanced and call the MS cloud fake but jump all over Gaikai and lick its balls. GTFO

SavageEvil
SavageEvil

@Tigerbite2 @SavageEvil  That's odd, mine came within a day or two of the notification email I've been part of the Beta for over a month, the list of games has changed 3 times already. The new list has a lot of meh games on it. I left them a long message about how the interface need to not look anything like the PS Store on PS3...as that thing is slow and cumbersome to navigate. The PSP interface is much faster, dated but it flies compared to the PS3 interface.


In your email, is there a link of any kind? If not then I'm sorry you probably didn't meet the location requirements for the Beta. Each code was for a specific location in proximity to their servers. Not to fret it's not that great of a Beta, just like Netflix except for games and depending on your connection visual quality goes up or down...rather little lag at all when playing any game but fast paced games will suffer if your connection gets congested. Whole frames will not appear and it would look like it skipped a part.