Leaked PlayStation Now Beta Loading Times for All Games Show Large Improvement From First Phase

Back in February a reader that wished to remain anonymous sent us a list of the loading times of all the games that were available in the first phase of the beta of PlayStation Now.

The beta has now moved on to the second phase, with a whole lot of new games available and even some returning ones. The same reader took it upon himself to clock the loading times again using the same internet connection and shared them with us.

Like last time, each timing in the list below is from the launch of the game to the splash screen. We were provided a video as evidence, but we were asked not to publish it to protect the tipster’s identity (and account).

Between parenthesis you can also see the loading times of the returning games in the first phase of the beta, for comparison’s sake.

  • Shadow of the Colossus – 46.72 (old time: 53.98)
  • WipeOut HD – 57.19
  • Dead Nation – 40.05
  • PixelJunk Monsters – 39.90
  • Shatter – 38.86 (old time: 39.77)
  • Guacamelee! – 32.36
  • Disgaea 4 – 33.30 (old time: 47.12)
  • Dead or Alive 5 – 36.55 (old time: 51.10)
  • Critter Crunch – 38.37
  • Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond – 35.81
  • Zeno Clash II – 35.62
  • Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon – 32.28
  • Puzzle Quest: Galactrix – 36.45
  • Rise of the Guardians – 35.12
  • Dead Island – 36.22
  • PAYDAY: The Heist – 37.03
  • Order Up!! – 35.66
  • Alien Rage – 39.27
  • Real Steel – 35.82

It’s worth mentioning that in the first phase of the beta all the titles but one between the ten available had a loading time well above 40 seconds, and half of them clocked above 50 seconds. The second phase of the beta has all but three of the nineteen games under 40 seconds, and many of them by a large margin. Only one game (WipeOut HD) takes over 50 seconds to load.

Examining the loading times of the four returning games the improvement is even more evident. Shadow of the Colossus now takes 7 seconds less, Disgaea 4 gained 14 seconds and Dead or Alive 5 a whopping 15 seconds. Only Shatter isn’t much faster, showing a difference of less than a second.

Of course loading times will vary from user to user depending on the bandwidth available, but the test was done using the same internet connection as last time, roughly at the same time of day.

Ultimately it’s easy to notice that PlayStation Now is definitely going in the right direction for what loading times are concerned, and since the service is still in beta, with months to go before its launch in the summer, there’s still room for improvement.

Join the Discussion

  • Somebodyissilent


  • oGMo

    Relatively significant, still .. does this mean they’re moving images between systems to load? This itself may be telling: if they’re planning on a handful of games, it would be unnecessary; if they’re planning on a ton, it may exceed local storage for any system.

    OTOH, maybe they just hired more people to run around inserting discs, and this time they sorted all the boxes. 30-50s is about right for “find the game, run to the system and insert disc,” eh? 😉

  • Malikite

    Impressive incremental improvement. Would rather the games load slower at the beginings and run great than faster and be more choppy thoughout though

    • shinitaru

      That’s not how it works though, once loaded the performance should remain constant as long as the network conditions don’t change. The initial load times would just be to overcome the latency then establish the connection to the stream

      • Dale

        Suppose it could be a possibility though. Rather than streaming the game as a whole, you could potentially download the core textures and sprites of the game, and they are then rendered more as you play. Don’t see any advantages though other than people with slower network speeds.

  • Jecht_Sin

    I did a test with Shadow of the Colossus, installed locally in my 7200rpm HDD. It took about 15-16seconds to see the first screen,

    Still the network latency and bandwidth should have little to do with it. This is more related to how fast the PS3 virtual machines in the servers load the games from the SAN (Storage Area Network). Also the time the PS3 takes starting the PS Now application should be taken into consideration, I suppose. Unless one first starts it and from there starts the games (not sure how PS Now works).

    • islan

      I’m sure there’s a lot of buffering and stability testing going on in that initial load.

      • Jecht_Sin

        Well, a possible scenario could (should?) be:

        – the user clicks in the PS Now game icon
        – the local PS3 loads and start the PS Now application (few seconds in here)
        – PS Now contacts the servers
        – It gets authenticated, checks for game ownership and similar crap
        – a PS3 virtual machine gets allocated for the user on the server and started (unless they are already running)
        – The PS3 virtual machine loads the game from the SAN and runs it, the audio/video output gets compressed and sent via Internet, listening for the controller input

        With all that stuff going on the times are actually quite good. Still they don’t really matter much, what matters the most is the input lag.

        • islan

          “The PS3 virtual machine loads the game from the SAN and runs it, the
          audio/video output gets compressed and sent via Internet, listening for
          the controller input”

          There’s a lot more handshaking and other stuff that needs to go on in this step. Heck, buffering Netflix can take a while, and that doesn’t even involve having to set up a reliable connection for remote user input.

          • Jecht_Sin

            But that stuff goes on real time once the client/server are started and the connections are established. Which is why I stated that what matters the most is the input lag. Which starts from the instant a frame gets compressed. Then it is sent to the remote PS3, uncompressed and displayed on television, the user reacts with the input in the controller and this gets sent back to the server and then elaborated by the game. All of this must be done very fast, in less than half a second. Much less possibly.

            The fact that it seems to work is simply amazing.

  • No video?

  • Jewy McJew

    Much better… but considering the possibilities of custom server hardware I still believe streaming games should have the advantage of instant loading.

  • Jake Maze

    Sorry but that is pathetic and Sony is going lots more millions on this good luck getting people to pay additional fees on top of PSPlus hell no

    • Somebodyissilent

      Man you xbots will say anything huh?

    • Jewy McJew

      PS Plus has got to be the best deal in the history of gaming. For $60 / year, you are getting about $600 worth of free games. Even accounting for reduced pricing of games over time, it is still an incredible value. I am surprised Sony is able to get such great games so quickly after release.

      I will admit though for my money, PS Now better have the instant convenience of Netflix.

  • Gobl1n

    ” but we were asked not to publish it to protect the tipster’s identity (and account)”

    Hi famousmortimer. How’s that butthurt from the bullshit you threw around about layoffs at Sony, only for a developer to hit you where it hurts?

    I’d want my identity hidden too if I pissed off a lot of people with my lies.

    • Guest

      all those GAF “insider” tipsters are a hilarious joke on society and everybody laughs at them in the end.

  • Guest

    …and they are still horrible. HAHAHAHAHA!

  • k j

    No improvement. What a joke.