Best answer: The higher the better! According to PlayStation, 5 Mbps is the minimum requirement to stream PlayStation Now. However, this is the minimum and even at high speeds, players have noticed input lag and compression.
- If you haven't already subscribed: PlayStation Now ($60/year at Amazon)
Streaming services are a wonderful concept for gamers. For the price of one or two AAA titles a year you can choose from hundreds of games to play. You can test out titles you aren't sure you would enjoy enough to drop $60 on or play some old games you never got around to playing. PlayStation Now even offers old PS3 and PS2 titles if you are feeling nostalgic. However, if you want to stream instead of downloading those games you may run into some problems.
Tortoise or the hare
Sony PlayStation recommends a minimum download speed of 5 Mbps to stream PlayStation Now. This happens to also be its recommendation for Share Play and Remote Play. It's a nice, safe number that most ISP's can provide and a majority of PlayStation customers can achieve.
To check your connection speeds there are some free speed tests online, I prefer to use SpeedTest.net. They are a safe way to check your speeds and mark servers that don't offer a secure testing warning.
You can also check your internet speed directly on your PS4 by going to your Network Settings and clicking on Test Internet Connection. This will show you both your download and upload speeds.
Unfortunately, 5 Mbps truly is the minimum requirement since you'll get kicked off the service if your internet speeds dip too low. A warning will appear in the upper right corner of your screen with a countdown to the disconnect. Save quickly!
At low internet speeds, your graphics will often be compressed to help reduce latency. The compression isn't always noticeable but at other times it can become headache-inducing blurry. My PS4 internet speed averages about 22 Mbps down and 4 Mbps up — this is about half of my internet speed due to a wireless connection. At this speed, I find the games playable but not enjoyable. There is noticeable input lag and enough compression that words can be difficult to read. Even players with nearly 100 Mbps have said they experience noticeable input lag, though their graphics do look sharper.
The hare won't always win
PlayStation Now streaming is far better the faster your internet speed is, but even with the fastest connections, you can experience input lag. Latency is nobody's friend.
While 5 Mbps is the minimum requirement, the recommended internet speed to stream PlayStation Now is as fast as you can get. Games are playable at my 22 Mbps but I will be continuing to download the games from PlayStation Now to play them locally instead of streaming. This might be the best option for the average player until PlayStation Now's service can match local play conditions.
PlayStation Now does offer a seven-day free trial period so you might as well give it a shot. See how PlayStation Now runs with your internet. If you aren't bothered by the input lag, then great. If it's too much to handle you still download games from the service or cancel and you haven't lost anything but a little time.
Equivalent to $5 a month
For the price of a single AAA title PlayStation Now offers access to both the lastest game releases and old favorites. Over 300 games are downloadable and 800 are streamable (if you don't mind a little lag).
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