PS Plus Premium's Cloud Streaming Is Much, Much Better Than You Think 1
Image: Push Square

Sony’s had its head in the cloud streaming business for much longer than its rivals, as you may recall it snapped up Gaikai prior to the launch of the PS4, and spent years peddling PS Now before transitioning the service to PS Plus Premium a few years ago. Despite this, it’s largely been considered irrelevant in the space, with bigger names like Microsoft and Google muscling their way into the market more recently.

It turns out, however, that PlayStation is doing a bang-up job with its cloud streaming service. An extensive report – which we recommend you read in full – reveals that recent upgrades to the service have seen it leapfrog Xbox’s xCloud solution, delivering PS5 games at 60fps in 4K with HDR, as well as with high-quality surround sound and Tempest Audio where available.

While there are still flaws related to the technology, Sony’s service is dramatically outperforming Microsoft’s, with vastly superior image quality. Xbox is, bafflingly, using Xbox Series S instances of its games for cloud streaming, so already finds itself at a disadvantage to the native PS5 versions leveraged by Sony. But the report notes of A Plague Tale: Requiem: “The Xbox solution is not even close to Sony’s, with a hugely compressed image that simply can't handle elements like swaying grass, fire, or even the shaded detail of a house.”

Due to the fact Microsoft is using Xbox Series S instances, PS Plus’ cloud streaming also posts a framerate advantage over its rival, although it should be noted Sony’s solution comes at the cost of slightly higher input lag. Nevertheless, the results are surprising, and perhaps not what anyone would have predicted based on the importance each platform holder has placed on the technology recently.