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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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After I posted, I took a look at my PS Now open beta account, and all the games I "rented" for free during the closed beta are still attached to my account as playable for three more months or so.
Space Ace is one of those games. I had already played the BluRay version today to answer your post, and I've now gone through the streaming version on my PS4 as well. It is MUCH better than the disc.
For one, it is using a new code of the game, likely the pure digital PS3 release. It has extra features and tweaks over the BluRay disc, like seeing your score and lives left on the screen. It also doesn't play a Borf taunt after each death like the disc - only after your final death. This is a great improvement as it keeps the action flowing.
The main benefit is that there is no stutter repeats like I described above, and no delay between scenes and transitions either. This is because there is no disc searching at all, so it flows as perfectly as you could expect. The other new features are options to turn off the input beep sounds as well as superimpose a direction hint icon as you play.
The latter tells you what to press a second or two before the normal light indicator pops up. This is a way for casuals to enjoy the game, or, if there is too much input lag during your stream, you can get by with this. For me, I'd say my inputs were about a tenth of a second slower than the disc version, which isn't bad at all. But the action flows so buttery smooth that it is the only thing to keep it from perfection. So here are my rankings of these kind of games with PlayStation consoles:
1. PS3 digital copy. You own it, it isn't streamed, and it will play the smoothest of any other option. Unfortunately it doesn't work on the PS4.
2. PS Now stream copy. It looks and plays VERY similar to the native PS3 digital title (you are streaming that version after all), and it works on the PS4. There is a slight hint of lag and you can only rent it right now instead of own it.
3. BluRay disc. It works on PS3s and PS4s (or any BluRay player) and you own the game to play when you want. But because of disc seek time, there are gaps when it loads each next section and a stutter exists when new info is loaded for the first time. Also, the BluRay play icon lights up on screen every time you advance to a new section. It also doesn't have all the features of the new digital version.
I say, wait a few weeks until Sony follows through on its promise to lower some streaming titles' rent prices to $1.99 for four hours. If these games are included with the price reduction, it is well worth it to try and stream it IMHO. Even at $2.99 you may want to consider it though.
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