PlayStation Now, Sony’s game-streaming service, finally unveiled

At CES, Sony finally revealed its long-mentioned streaming service for games: PlayStation Now. The Gaikai-run service will allow gamers to play “classic” games from PlayStation past instantly with their PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Sony Bravia TV (2014 models and beyond), and eventually, tablets and smartphones.

Beginning with PlayStation 3 titles, PlayStation Now aims to eventually bring games from the original PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and even PlayStation 4 to gamers on the fly. The service will allow for messages to be sent over PlayStation Network and feature support for both multiplayer gaming and trophies.

The first two confirmed titles to be available for the service will be Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us and Quantic Dream’s Beyond: Two Souls. Though not confirmed for PlayStation Now’s launch, both God of War: Ascension and The Puppeteer are currently available for hands-on time on the CES show floor for both Vita and Bravia TVs.

Sony confirmed at the show that PlayStation Now will be a subscription-based service. A company source later told Polygon that the console maker has “nothing to announce at this point in time” about whether or not the service will be included with PlayStation Plus. Those who don’t wish to pay a subscription will have the option of paying to rent games individually.

Speaking with CVG, Sony Computer Entertainment of America vice president of marketing John Koller explained that PlayStation Now isn’t meant to discourage the company’s console business.

“We’ve been very open and bullish on physical consoles,” said Koller. “So I don’t think PS Now necessarily disenfranchises future consoles in any way. But it does, I think, show our willingness to try and focus on content as primary.”

The initial release of the service will see PS4 and PS3 getting first access, with Vita coming later. When PlayStation Now does eventually come to Bravia TVs, smartphones, and tablets however, those who want to enjoy it will need a DualShock 3 controller.

“It needs to go through the DualShock [3],” Koller stated. “The DualShock remains the key ingredient, so that controller experience needs to go perfectly. We didn’t want to utilize touch screen or anything like that because the games are best played with a DualShock.”

A strong internet connection will also be required to use PlayStation Now. Sony recommends a bandwidth minimum of 5 Mb/sec.

PlayStation Now will be hosting a closed beta on PS3 at the end of the month. The service aims to launch in full on the aforementioned systems over the summer.

Sony’s cloud-based streaming service came to fruition thanks to its acquisition of Gaikai, a company originally working to stream Windows PC games to TVs and computers, in July 2012 for $380 million. During its PS4 reveal event last February, Sony then announced that Gaikai would be used to stream games to PS4 owners. At its E3 2013 press conference, Sony then told the world that the streaming service would be available in 2014.



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Author: Mike Murphy View all posts by
Mike has been playing games for over two decades. His earliest memories are of shooting ducks and stomping goombas on NES, and over the years, the hobby became one of his biggest passions. Mike has worked with GamerNode as a writer and editor since 2009, giving you news, reviews, previews, a voice on the VS Node Podcast, and much more.

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