PlayStation Now: True Cloud Gaming Across All Sony Platforms

During E3 last year, Sony announced that the PS4 would be launching with a streaming service that would allow backwards compatibility (of sorts) with PS3 games. Essentially, the company would finally be making use of its acquisition of game streaming service Gaikai.

Sony unveiled the streaming service officially in Vegas during CES 2014 last week. Dubbed PlayStation Now, Sony’s  streaming service will allow gamers to stream games from their PlayStation 4, Vita, and eventually even non-gaming devices such as Sony BRAVIA TV sets (a feature that will only be available on 2014 models).

During our hands-on demo of the service, we discovered that PlayStation Now would be completely separate from PlayStation Plus. Of course, this means that anybody wanting to use both services would have to shell out extra bucks. For now, there’s no pricing model confirmed, all we were told is that there will be two. One involves a try-before-you-buy scheme and the other is a standard subscription model.

PlayStation-Now-Broll

Currently, the service is in closed beta until the end of January. The service won’t be officially launching until later this summer, though it’ll first be only coming to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. There’s no word on when the service will come to the Vita and Sony non-gaming devices, although 2014 doesn’t seem to be out of the question.

PlayStation Now has the potential to be huge. Though Gaikai and OnLive both attracted plenty of attention back in 2010 and 2011, both companies failed to really get a footing in the gaming market. Lack of selection, subscription models, and U.S. Internet connection speeds all had a part in preventing the services from truly taking off. Though it’s been a couple of years, Sony faces the same problems with PlayStation Now that the two services did back in 2011. Hopefully, Sony’s able to land the partnerships to delivery desirable content in a timely manner and at a price that’s going to attract gamers to service.

If Sony succeeds in this endeavor, there’s interesting implications. Streaming services like PlayStation Now may be a nail in the coffin for traditional gaming, meaning Sony could potentially be hurting the sales of its own consoles. However, by doing so, Sony will have secured itself in a spot in the future of gaming.

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