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After eight years on the market, the PlayStation 3 has built up quite a collection of games. With PlayStation Now, a large selection of those titles are being made available as a streaming catalog and, after a number of beta phases, we finally have a launch date and pricing plan for those of you looking to catch up on some great last gen experiences.

At this point, many gamers have already tested the waters of the PlayStation Now experience. The service has been available on all of Sony’s platforms for quite a few months now, offering streaming games for a rental fee. Up to this point, you could gain access to various titles for hourly, daily or even monthly rates. The original plan, though, was to provide a subscription service for the full catalog, and now we know exactly when that’s happening and how much it’s going to cost.

According to a recent post on the PlayStation Blog, PlayStation Now will go live as a subscription service on Jan. 12, with a pricing model that includes one month for $19.99 or three months for $44.99. With the subscription, you’ll be able to gain access to the entire catalog of 100-plus games on an unlimited basis. For those of you who work better with moving images, here’s a brief introduction to the service, reminding you that PlayStation Now offers such games as Uncharted 2, Bioshock Infinite and Arkham City.

“…You can enjoy the freedom to quickly discover and play a wide range of full games without downloads, installs or patches, not to mention trips to the store,” said PlayStation Now Director of Marketing Peter Jamshidi. “The subscription service will be available first on the PS4 across North America, and will come to other PlayStation Now enabled devices in the future.”

Obviously, PlayStation Now isn’t for everyone. The $20 monthly asking price likely seems like a huge figure for gamers who have already experienced much of what the PS3 era had to offer and, honestly, those folks should probably look elsewhere for their gaming needs. For those of you who are new to the PlayStation family, though, I can see how this might come as an extremely attractive offer. For a third of the cost of a new game, you can gain access to an entire library of classic last gen titles for 30 days. Depending on how much free time you have on your hands, that’s an absolute steal. It should also help bolster your collection while waiting for new PS4 games to drop.

For those of you who like to try before you buy, a seven-day free trial will be available to all comers, letting you tackle a week’s worth of games like Spelunky, The Last of Us or various God of War titles to see how well the system works with your internet setup. Again, depending on how much free time you have in those seven days, it’s kind of like Sony is giving you a couple of games at no charge.

Give it a shot and see if it’s right for you.
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