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Play PS4 on PC? Sony's Netflix-for-games makes it a reality

PlayStation Now is adding its first batch of PlayStation 4 titles.

PlayStation Now streams PS3 (and now PS4) games to practically any Windows PC.

CNET

Sony may not want to let you play with your Xbox and Nintendo Switch-wielding friends, but it doesn't have quite the same grudge against the PC. 

Starting today, the company's bringing PlayStation 4 games to its PlayStation Now cloud gaming service. You'll be able to stream them to any PlayStation 4 console or Windows computer without ever popping in a disc or even needing to download a game. 

In addition to some 500 PS3 titles, here's the full list of PS4 games available to stream today:

  • Killzone Shadow Fall
  • God of War 3 Remastered
  • Saints Row IV: Re-Elected
  • WWE 2K16
  • Tropico 5
  • Ultra Street Fighter IV
  • F1 2015
  • Darksiders II Deathfinitive Edition
  • Evolve
  • MX vs ATV Supercross Encore
  • Resogun
  • Helldivers 
  • Broken Age
  • Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition
  • Grim Fandango Remastered
  • Akiba's Beat
  • Castlestorm Definitive Edition
  • Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky
  • Nidhogg 
  • Super Mega Baseball

Sony says "this is just the start," and that more games will arrive in monthly updates.

Update, 7:55 a.m. PT: Interestingly, UK players will have a much longer list of 51 PS4 games, including Tearaway.

Originally launched in July 2014, PlayStation Now is basically Netflix for games. Sony packages up a whole bunch of older "back catalog" games that aren't racking up sales. Then it streams them on demand, from internet servers, for a subscription fee. 

Judging by the first batch of PS4 games that Sony's announcing today, that model hasn't changed: while it's pretty neat that PC gamers can experience PlayStation exclusives like Killzone Shadow Fall and Resogun for the first time, these games are all well-used and most already exist on Windows. 

But PlayStation Now isn't just about playing console exclusives on PC. It's about taking the PlayStation on the road. Yes, the PS4 is the only home entertainment device that currently supports PlayStation Now since Sony dropped support for TVs, Blu-ray players, and the PS3 and PS Vita handheld in February. But the fact that you can plug a DualShock 4 controller into practically any ol' Windows laptop and fire up a PlayStation game is still an intriguing concept.

It's just a shame Sony can't figure out how many subscription services it wants you to pay for. The company says a PlayStation Now subscription will let you play multiplayer games without the PlayStation Plus subscription ($60, £40 or AU$70 a year) you'd normally need. But Sony tells us you'll still need that same PS Plus subscription to transfer your local game saves to the cloud -- and thus be able to resume your already-purchased games on the go.

If you want to give it a try, Sony's making it a bit more accessible than before in the United States -- in addition to a 7-day free trial, Sony's offering promotional pricing of $10 for the first month or $100 for a whole year, which compares favorably to Netflix. After the trial period, it'll revert to the normal price of $20 a month, or £13 in the UK. 

Sadly, there's still no word on PS Now for Australia, but the US price for a full year converts to about AU$130.

Incidentally, the long-time head of Sony's PlayStation Now business recently left the company

Another way to try PlayStation games on PC or Mac: Stream them over your own Wi-Fi network with Sony's free app.