Out Stateside This Summer
PlayStation and Gaikai sitting in a tree. S-T-R-E-A-M-I-N-G.
Sony has pulled a whopping great sabertooth tiger of a cat out of the bag at CES 2014, revealing their plans for a new streaming games service. PlayStation Now will allow gamers to stream PS3 games on PS4, granting their new console some form of backwards compatibility. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg, since they will also be playable on PS Vita, certain tablets, smartphones and Bravia televisions. This is what we've been hoping for ever since Sony snagged Gaikai last year.
That's the good news. The bad news is that firm details are still somewhat thin on the ground... and that it's only slated to launch Stateside this summer. Oh how I wish us Europeans could have nice things. And reliable internet. And some half-decent FM rock radio stations while we're at it. Anyway, we've got more details below.
According to the announcement (you can read an abridged version on the PlayStation Blog), PlayStation Now acts somewhat like OnLive, offering the following services:
- Play video games instantly across multiple devices, similar to the way you might stream TV, movies, and music.
- Stream full games to all of your compatible PlayStation devices including PS4, PS3, and PlayStation Vita as well as non-PlayStation devices, beginning with 2014 BRAVIA TV models and expanding to numerous other Internet-connected devices.
- Always play the most updated version of your game. With games hosted in the cloud, you can take your game with you – just log in with your Sony Entertainment Network account on a compatible device and your games and saved progress will be easily available.
Cloud saves will allow users to start playing on a PS4 and dive back in a tablet or smartphone - at least somewhere with a decent Wi-Fi connection.
"Eventually the service will expand beyond PlayStation platforms and Sony devices, allowing users to stream PlayStation games on numerous other Internet-connected devices," Sony explains. "SCE's vision for PS Now is to enable users to instantly enjoy a wide range of full games on the Internet-connected consumer electronics devices they use every day."
So far so good... but how much will it cost? Sony aren't willing to talk specifics just yet, but did confirm that users will have the choice between paying for access to specific games or accessing a greater selection via a monthly subscription. We'll find out when the US beta goes live over the coming months, followed by a full launch in the summer. We'll be peering over the Atlantic like the green-eyed monsters we are.
There's much we still don't know about PlayStation Now, especially in terms of the all-important details. How much will it actually cost? Can we play previously-purchased games for free? What games will be included? Will us Europeans ever actually get it? I'll round up the potential and problems later, but for now, colour us rather excited - at least about the concept.