PlayStation Now was on its way to iPhone before Sony changed its mind

PlayStation Now was on its way to iPhone before Sony changed its mind


PlayStation Now
Sony changed its mind.
Photo: Sony

PlayStation Now, the streaming service that gives players access to more than 500 PlayStation 3 and 4 games, was on its way to iPhone and iPad back in 2017, according to documents that have surfaced as part of the Epic vs. Apple trial.

Apple had inside knowledge of Sony’s plans back in 2017, before PlayStation Now made its official debut. But for reasons currently unknown, the Japanese company never followed through on support for mobile devices.

PlayStation Now never hit the App Store

Despite beating many of its rivals to game streaming, Sony has fallen well behind in making its titles more accessible through the cloud. The likes of GeForce Now, Xbox Game Cloud, and even Google Stadia offer a much more compelling experience that you can enjoy on a wide range of devices.

But there was a time when Sony had much bigger ambitions for PS Now. Before the service made its debut, it was set to launch on smart TVs, Blu-ray players, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and even smartphone and tablets — including iPhone and iPad. It eventually landed on PlayStation 4 and Windows PCs only.

A previously confidential Apple document, unearthed by The Verge from the Epic vs. Apple trial, shows that Cupertino had heard about a “mobile extension of an existing streaming service for PlayStation users, streaming access to over 450+ PS3 games to start, with PS4 games to follow.”

In the end, PS Now rolled out only on PlayStation 4 and Windows PCs.

Sony decided not to bring PS Now to mobile

It’s not completely clear why Sony changed its mind on offering mobile support — which would have made PS Now a much stronger competitor to rival game streaming services. The Verge speculates that the company “decided it wasn’t worth fighting Apple” the way the likes of Google and Microsoft have.

Back in 2017, Apple’s rules regarding game streaming services weren’t quite as strict, and PS Now may have made in into the App Store without too much fuss — paving the way for others. But it’s possible Sony may have heard about Apple’s plans to launch a gaming service of its own.

The document also shows that around the same time, Apple was already drawing up plans for Apple Arcade. Although its not a streaming service like PS Now and the others, it does provide players with unlimited access to a large catalog of titles for an affordable monthly fee.

Sony has brought its PS Remote Play app to iPhone and iPad, which lets you stream titles from your PlayStation 4 or 5 console. But if you don’t already own one of these devices, the Remote Play app is of no use to you.