Credit: Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
If you own a PlayStation console, you have likely heard some form of debate about PlayStation Plus vs PlayStation Now. Each subscription service offers unique perks, but which one should you pay for? Or should you subscribe to both? Which one is the better value?
In this article, we’ll cover everything there is to know about each subscription service and help you decide which one to put your money toward.
What is PlayStation Plus?
PlayStation Plus is a subscription-based service that originally launched in 2010. The original premise has changed very little. Each month, you can download 2 or 3 games for free to keep as long as you are a paying subscriber.
Take a closer look: PlayStation Plus: Everything you need to know
On top of free games, you get exclusive perks, like discounts, early access to betas and demos, 100GB of cloud storage, Share Play, and more.
PS Plus also gives gamers the ability to play multiplayer games online with their friends or other people from around the world. Some of the most popular multiplayer online games include FIFA, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Grand Theft Auto, and Monster Hunter World.
And if you own a PS5, subscribing to PS Plus will also land you the Classics Collection, which includes 20 landmark games from the PS4 era. You’ll see titles like God of War, Monster Hunter: World, Bloodborne, and more.
What is PlayStation Now?
PlayStation Now is a subscription based service that lets you stream, and sometimes download, hundreds of PS2, PS3, and PS4 games on demand. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “Netflix for video games,” this is it. Or, at least one of the video game streaming services out there.
Right now, there are over 800 video game titles to stream right away, and tons of other games to download. As if being able to stream a plethora of games on your console wasn’t enough, you can also stream the games on your PC. PS Now is the only service that allows gamers to experience PlayStation exclusives on a PC.
Learn more: PlayStation Now: Everything you need to know
While select games do leave the service to make room for new titles, most of the games stick around for a while. And the games that do are set to leave PS Now will have a warning date next to them to let you know when they’ll expire. So you’ll pretty much always have enough time to play through whatever titles catch your eye.
PlayStation Plus vs PlayStation Now games
With a PS Plus subscription, you will have 2 to 3 different games every month that you can download. You have to add any available games to your library before they expire. Then, the games are yours for as long as you pay for your PS Plus subscription.
In past months, free games have included Bugsnax (PS5 exclusive), Concrete Genie, Control, Greedfall, and more. PS Plus games available for March 2021 include Final Fantasy VII Remake, Maquette, Remnant: From the Ashes, and Farpoint.
Then, as I mentioned earlier, a PS Plus subscription paired with a PlayStation 5 will earn you access to the Classics Collection.
Related: The best PS5 games you can buy
On the other hand, PS Now comes with a lot more games that you can play as long as you have a subscription and as long as they’re still available in the service. Games that are about to expire will let you know, but most games stay available for quite a while.
Some of the best games available to play right now through PS Now include Horizon Zero Dawn, Doom, The Last of Us, Uncharted 3, and Bloodborne. And a few of the games that were most recently added include Detroit: Become Human, Frostpunk, and Little Nightmares.
PlayStation Plus vs PlayStation Now location availability
PlayStation Plus is currently available in available in 73 different countries or regions around the world. Occasionally, the content will differ between different regions, but for the most part, it’s the same. You can check out the full list of regions PS Plus is available in to see if your area is listed.
Also read: The best PlayStation 5 accessories you can buy
PlayStation Now, on the other hand, is only available in 19 different countries. If you don’t live in one of the following countries, you unfortunately won’t have access to PS Now.
- The Netherlands
PlayStation Plus vs PlayStation Now pricing
Both PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now follow the same pricing model.
If you pay monthly for either PS Plus or PS Now, it’ll cost you $9.99. If you pay every three months, you’ll pay $24.99, or about $8.33 per month. Or, you can pay annually for $59.99.
Paying annually is the best way to go, whether you subscribe to PS Plus, PS Now, or both. It works out to be about $5 per month, which is really a steal for both services.
Since the pricing is the same, it comes down to which subscription service has more value for the price.
Check out: PS5 buyer’s guide: All you need to know about Sony’s PlayStation 5
PlayStation Plus vs PlayStation Now value
Here’s everything you would get with an annual PS Plus subscription for $59.99:
- 2 to 3 free games every month, yours for as long as you’re a PS Plus subscriber
- Can play online multiplayer mode in games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Monster Hunter: World, and more
- 100 GB cloud storage
- Share Play – If a PS Plus subscriber wants share a game with a friend and that friend doesn’t own the game, Share Play allows this to happen.
- Exclusive deals and discounts
- Early access to betas and demos for select games
- Special: If you own a PS5, a PS Plus subscription also comes with the Classics Collection, which includes 20 classic PS4 hits, including God of War and The Last of Us: Remastered.
See also: Sony PlayStation 5 review: A beautiful, speedy upgrade from last-gen
And here’s everything you’d get with an annual PS Now subscription for $59.99:
- Can stream over 800 games on both your PlayStation console or your PC
- Game data will be saved and stored so you can flip back and forth easily between your console and your PC
- Can download tons of games to your PlayStation console
- Can play online multiplayer mode in any game included in the service.
So which service should you choose?
If you have the money to spend on both services, they’re both worth it. Both PS Plus and PS Now offer amazing perks you’ll easily get your money’s worth out of.
If you only have enough money to spend on one subscription service, here’s what it’ll come down to. Do you want free games to download every month and the ability to play online multiplayer games with your friends or others around the world? Then purchase a PS Plus subscription. Sure, you get exclusive perks with a PS Plus subscription, but the real deciding factors are the free games and being able to play online.
Or would you rather have access to a large library of games that you can stream on your console or your PC? In that case, you’ll want to purchase a PS Now subscription. Having access to over 800 great games, with new games being added all the time, you’ll never run out of games to play.
Read next: Things we want to see from PlayStation in 2021