I was just about to purchase the new game, "The Witness", when I noticed that next to the title, it is listed as a PSN game. Does that mean PlayStation Network, or PlayStation Now? I recently purchased "Sportfriends" and to my surprise, it was required to have a Now subscription to play this game. This game also has the "PSN game" next to the title. Do you need a subscription to PS Now to play the witness? What exactly does that abbreviation mean?

2 Answers 2


It stands for PlayStation Network and it means that the game is specifically made for digital distribution and purchase only. So they're only available digitally. You initially won't find them in retail, unless it's some re-release or something like that. Like The Witness and Sportfriends, these are typically smaller games meant to be download-only. It -confusingly- has nothing to do with PlayStation Now.

Here is the source

  • Thank you, that clears things up. So just to be sure, the you don't need PS Now to play the witness, and it was just a coincidence that it was required to play Sportfriends?
    – Tyler Dood
    Jan 27, 2016 at 14:58
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    Wether you need PS Now is unrelated to the game being a PSN game. In case of Sportfriends it was necessary, in case of The Witness it may not be necessary. Those things are unrelated. PlayStation Now is just a streaming service for the PS4 to play PS3 games. So if Sportfriends is a PS3 game, you need PlayStation Now to play it on a PS4. The Witness is a PS4 game, so you don't need PlayStation Now to play it.
    – FerdieQO
    Jan 27, 2016 at 15:02

PSN means to play the game you need to be connected to the internet and to be signed in to your PSN account. If you buy the full game, it doesn't require PSN and you can play offline.

Source is my personal experience, just tried to launch a PSN game without internet connection and can not. It keep asking me to sign-in to PSN.

  • I can see I got a down vote immediately. Explain then what is the different between a 'full game' purchase and a 'PSN game' purchase. Same title, both digital obviously but the price of the PSN version is normally lower. I'm talking from experience. I can not run any PSN game without internet connection but I can run full games offline. BOTH is digitally purchased and downloaded from PS Store the only difference is, one is PSN the other is full. The PSN game might have extra content but still require you to log-in to play....
    – guest
    Oct 14, 2017 at 9:51

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