PS5 Cloud Streaming Arrives on PS5 Consoles – Early Thoughts

PlayStation 5 Cloud Gaming

The ability to stream PS5 games in the cloud has arrived in Japan as well as the EU, with North America to follow in a week from now. The new feature allows PlayStation Plus Premium Members to stream supported PS5 titles in the cloud. These titles may be available on PlayStation Plus, available as part of a game trial, or even supported games that the user may own in their own library.

Of course, PlayStation Plus Premium members have been able to stream supported PS3 and PS4 titles for some time, however, the rollout of support for PS5 titles is part of PlayStation’s aggressive plans for the cloud gaming market.

It is worth noting that at the moment PS5 cloud streaming is limited to the PS5 console.

I decided to put the new PS5 server blades through their paces, you can read my thoughts below. For transparency, I streamed all games at 1440p, as that is the maximum resolution for my monitor. PlayStation recommends an internet speed of 38mbps+ to stream games in 4K, my maximum internet speed is around 68mbs; so, well within PlayStation’s guidelines. I also used a hardwired connection, that runs into a mesh wifi system that I have set up throughout my house.

The Games

It was hard for me initially to get a list of which PS5 titles are actually available to stream on PS5, yes you you navigate to the menu that lists all the available titles for cloud streaming but there is no option to filter the games by their PlayStation platform.

After some scrolling through the supported games list, I identified a list of random PS5 games I wanted to try, some of which had both the PS4 and PS5 versions available to stream, I am pleased to say that with these games, you get the option of which version of the game you would like to stream.

In total, I selected 5 PS5 titles to steam and test. My initial test was to determine how long it took from me clicking the ‘Stream’ option to landing on each game’s main menu and being ready to hit the play button. The results varied:

  • Outriders – 35 seconds
  • Far Cry 6 – 44 seconds
  • Disney Speedstorm – 32 seconds
  • Marvel’s Guardians of The Galaxy – 13 seconds
  • Spider-Man Miles Morales – 24 seconds

Marvel’s Guardians of The Galaxy took me by surprise here, so much so that I checked it twice over to make sure the results were correct. I did debate whether to compare the times from loading the games from being saved on my HDD, but after trying both Outriders and Far Cry 6 for this and finding the time on each to be near-instantaneous to the main menu, I decided not to record the times for this.

How Did The Games Perform

Before I share my thoughts on how each game performed, I want to be honest about my previous thoughts on PlayStation’s cloud streaming offering, again for full transparency. Personally, my experience with PlayStation cloud gaming has always been that it is at the bottom of the list compared to other services such as GeForce NOW, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and of course Google Stadia when it was still with us. Quite simply, it never operated smoothly for me.

With that now said, I am pleased to say that I was rather impressed with how these PS5 games performed in the cloud. Outriders was the first game I tried, I initially thought there was some form of input lag but upon looking at my controller settings, I discovered that for some reason the aim sensitivity had been turned up to the maximum settings on both the vertical and horizontal sticks. After adjusting this, I found the game to run pretty well in terms of input latency. In fact, the same can be said for all the games I tried. I did notice some streaming artifacts in the game but nothing that would, in my opinion, hamper the streaming experience, the game also seemed to hold a solid framerate, which I am sure was 60fps.

Disney Speedstorm was up next and again I found the performance to be very good, the graphics again were solid as was the framerate. I managed to cruise to victory in each race I had and felt no issues at all.

I am going to bundle the next three titles together as these are the ones that really impressed me – Far Cry 6, Marvel’s Guardians of The Galaxy, and Spider-Man Miles Morales. Each of these games performed exceptionally well. The input latency was minimal, the graphics were very good and the frame rate was solid across all of them. I did see some streaming artifacts in Far Cry 6 but again, it was minimal and for me personally did not deter from the experience. Miles Morales and Guardians of the Galaxy in particular were very solid experiences.

I did also try some PS4 titles purely to see if there was a change in performance from what I had experienced previously and I am sad to say there was not. Although the PS4 titles I tried did look okay, the input latency was high, pretty much as it was when I last tried cloud gaming on the PlayStation. It seems that perhaps PlayStation has made the decision not to roll out a complete server blade upgrade for all their tiles available to play in the cloud but rather the PS5 titles seem to run from their own server blade.

Overall, in regards to the PS5 titles I tried, I would say the performance is somewhere between Xbox Cloud Gaming levels of performance and the GeForce NOW Ultimate Tier with the latter retaining its position as the gold standard in cloud gaming, granted you do pay extra for this however. I would honestly say, based on my own early experience, the PlayStations PS5 cloud streaming option, is an improvement on Xbox Cloud Gaming for sure, in both terms of performance and latency. Again, this is my own personal experience however, cloud gaming can really vary from user to user.

Who Is This All For?

One thing that kept going over in my head whilst I was trying out the PS5 cloud streaming was ‘Who is this really for, would I use this personally?’ The initial answer was, no I probably wouldn’t, certainly not as it’s restricted to PS5 consoles currently. I would simply just download the game to my PS5 console to play locally. It was then that I had a small lightbulb moment, why could I not stream a game whilst at the same time I was downloading the same game to my console?

Now, of course, it is never usually recommended to download something whilst cloud gaming, especially if your broadband speed is on the lower end, such as mine. However, this idea is what led me to add Spider-Man Miles Morales to my list of test titles. I own the game, having played through it previously, but it was not currently downloaded to my PS5 console.

I kicked off the download and then clicked the ‘Stream’ option. I highly expected to be met with a laggy, latency-filled mess but I was actually surprised, the game stream ran as smoothly as the other titles had. I spent some time, swinging around the streets of New York, whilst checking on my game download, which reached around 10GB installed before I ended my stream. Never once did I experience any lag or additional latency during the whole process, the game ran extremely well all whilst a major download was also happening on my home network. Remember, my download speed is a maximum of 68mbs.

Of course, this may not be guaranteed to be the case for every person, cloud gaming can be a fickle beast at times, however, this very well could be a big use case for PS5 cloud streaming at the moment. The ability to stream the game as you wait for it to download locally, should the game be supported of course. The other use cases would of course be to try a game before downloading it and to dive into a game quickly without the need to download it, again if the game is supported.

I won’t lie though, that ability to download a game and stream it at the same time, all whilst maintaining a high-quality game stream, really impressed me.

The Takeaway

Overall, with what I have tried so far, I am impressed. PS5 cloud streaming is a huge step in the right direction for PlayStation, a vast improvement from their previous cloud gaming offerings in my opinion. It is a little frustrating that the server blade upgrade does not seem to be across the board, PS4 game streaming is still very much lacking for me personally in terms of overall quality and performance. However, if I were to compare PS5 cloud streaming to that of PlayStation’s biggest competitor, Xbox, they have certainly pushed well ahead of Xbox Cloud Gaming at this current moment in time.

Another aspect I would love to see PlayStation change would be to break the shackles that are holding PS5 cloud streaming to PS5 consoles only. They literally have the perfect device on the horizon for this with the PlayStation Portal, I really hope they can see the potential and utilize it as well as bringing a dedicated PS5 streaming app to mobile devices.

I look forward to seeing what PlayStation does next in this space.


Lee Reid

Scottish video game enthusiast who is very passionate and a big believer in cloud gaming. Also loves to chat about video games.

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