Streaming PS5 games sounds like the real deal – except for one thing

Time to bust out the ethernet cable?

Horizon Forbidden West Aloy stares at a Tallneck
(Image credit: Sony / Guerrilla Games)

If you've ever had to delete one game to make room for another, you'll understand the appeal of the incoming PS5 upgrade to cloud streaming. No longer will you have to make a heartbreaking decision between your favourite games as you choose which to condemn to being uninstalled. 

Cloud streaming has been available for select PS4 titles and the PlayStation "Classics Catalog" for a while but this month you'll be able to start streaming PS5 titles in its "Game Catalog" too. Sony has confirmed that with a PlayStation Plus Premium subscription, gamers can play some of the best games on the console seamlessly without installs. Admittedly the Game Catalog isn't quite as strong as Xbox's Game Pass lineup, but there are still some must-play titles on there including Horizon: Forbidden West, Ghostwire: Tokyo and Returnal

There's just one problem, internet speed. Cloud streaming requires a consistent and speedy connection or else you'll be left with game-breaking latency and an unrecognisable resolution. Sony has provided its recommended download speeds and if you live in a more provincial area you might be in trouble. 

Sony new PlayStation Plus tiers

(Image credit: Sony)

Streaming games on the PS5 at 60Hz brings a choice of resolution tailored to varying internet connections. If you want to stream in glorious 4K then you'll need a minimum of 38mbps although Sony recommends at least 52mbps. That's a pretty big ask, and if your internet is less speedy, you'll have to play at a sub-optimal resolution. As a minimum, you'll need a 5mbps connection to stream at a paltry 720p although Sony recommends 13 mbps as a baseline figure.

That's going to exclude a lot of PS5 owners from using the service as designed and leave traditional downloads as the only way to make the most of the PS5's hardware. Hopefully, in time, general improvements in internet speeds will make this less of an issue. But otherwise, it might be time to invest in one of the best routers and try to find a high-speed internet provider. 

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.