Sony Announces and Details Game Streaming Service ‘PlayStation Now’

Published 11 months ago by

PlayStation Now Screenshots

Backwards compatibility has been a point of tension for those contemplating upgrading to a next generation video game system. Be it the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, neither format supports the option of allowing past generation software to be played. Sony has had plans in motion to rectify this situation prior to even announcing the PS4, however, and today they finally gave fans a peek under the metaphorical curtain — announcing a new streaming service called PlayStation Now.

Effectively utilizing the cloud-based technology of Gaikai, a company that was purchased by Sony back in 2012, the newly announced PlayStation Now has the potential to allow gamers to stream legacy software from the PS1, PS2, and PS3 to a myriad of formats. Initially, however, only PS4 and PS3 users will only be given access to games from the PlayStation 3′s catalogue — with plans to include games from the original PlayStation and PlayStation 2 consoles coming to fruition at a later date.

Shortly after the service is established later this year and everything has been ironed out, Sony will begin offering PS Now on the Vita, with additional plans to also allow access to the cloud-based gaming service via an app built into select 2014 Sony Bravia television sets. Eventually, any Internet-connected devices (such as tablets and smartphones) will be capable of running games from the cloud.

While the spectrum of formats and library possibilities alone are enough to get excited about, there are even more great possibilities that are only capable thanks to Gaikai’s cloud-based technology. According to Sony, gamers will hypothetically be able to start a game on their PlayStation 4, pause the title, and then resume on an entirely different device such as their PS Vita. This method of accessing content is similar to Netflix and assures gamers that their content will always leave off where it was last left. Trophies and multiplayer for each game will also be supported, much to the delight of trophy hunters.

Sony PS4 Sales Projections

PlayStation Now’s subscription fees weren’t discussed during the big reveal, but two different options were detailed by Sony. Those who are keen on having access to a wide range of software will be able to pay a subscription to have access to more than a handful of titles. Likewise, gamers looking for one or two particular games can rent any given piece of software for an undisclosed fee.

As with any new service, especially one based solely on streaming games, it’s hard not to be cautious with buying into PS Now’s hype — even Microsoft doesn’t view streaming games as a viable alternative to backwards compatibility yet. That said, if Sony and Gaikai can pull off a relatively smooth launch for the service, and accumulate a number of satisfied customers in the process, then they may very well be on to something huge. Proceeding to then incorporate the service onto additional forms of hardware then opens up Sony and its new service to Netflix levels of success — something that any company worth its salt would love to replicate.

PlayStation Now is scheduled to offer a Beta program of sorts at the end of January to select PS3 users, and Sony plans on rolling the service out in full force for both the PS4 and PS3 at some point this Summer in North America.

What do you think of PlayStation Now? How much would you be willing to pay a month to access legacy PlayStation titles?

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You can follow Riley on Twitter @TheRileyLittle.

Source: PlayStation.Blog

TAGS: Gaikai, PC, PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, Sony, Vita

14 Comments

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  1. This is it right here as far as I am concerned. Get it right and there will be little competition to stop Sony on the console market regarding next gen. Especially when even last month I was reading we (Europe) were not getting anything like this until ’15.

    I put off buying my PS4 due to the delay on ‘Watch Dogs’. No other title interested me so right now I am looking at March. Timing could turn out to be quite serendipitous.

    Fingers crossed. I want to revisit the monumental ‘Music 2000′.

  2. so all the ps3 games can be played on ps4 via streaming. what if i already have the ps3 game? do i have to pay a subscription to play it on ps4?

    i would expect them to make us pay more than ps+ a year for this. they will probably put games on rotation similar to how netflix changes stuff. i just hope that the games i already own dont get out behind a subscription.

    • I imagine there will be a monthly charge so yes you will have to pay for it but you also get access to a library of other games as well

    • Thats what I was thinking.

      Its too bad you couldnt put the ps3 game in the ps4 and it could recognize the disc and you could stream it that way. Prove you own the game. or you can put it in the ps4 and stream it as long as the disc is in the system. you wont be playing from the disc but its your key to open the door

      • the ps4 can recognise ps3 discs. when games like AC4 and CoD came to ps3, a couple weeks later the ps4 came out and what they were doing was allowing you to pay a lower price on the ps4 if you have the ps3 version. when you went to get the ps4 version you have to put the ps3 disc into the ps4 so that its proven you own it.

  3. I would not want to pay any more than I do for my playstation+ and I think it needs to be included as a part of PS+ free of any additional charge. I would rarely play many games and I’m sure the ones I would want to play I already have on disc and would be upset about having to pay more to play a game I already own. Bad idea all around.

    • If you would rarely play any games then the service is clearly not for you and you would be better off renting games individually or just play them how you do now.

    • yeah so don’t subscribe

  4. For the record, you won’t be able to stream games you already have. At least not from what was announced right now. PlayStation Now is a separate service in which you stream games to your devices from their own servers. Sort of like Netflix or Hulu. Also, just like Netflix and Hulu, you can only stream what is on their servers, not everything you own on a disc or digitally.

    I personally am falling in love with this. As a current subscriber to Gamefly, which i have been for 3 years now, this could potentially be an amazing deal.

    A library of games that you can play across multiple devices, as well as playing multiplayer and still earning trophies? Hell yea. My biggest question is how much is this going to cost? And will it tie into PS Plus in anyway? Maybe any game that gets added to Plus can be streamed?

  5. It’s should be free for ps plus members

  6. This is gonna be epic…..Glad They kept this promise! !! =)

  7. This is a terrible alternative to backwards coermpatibility. One thing that always gets me, why add all these bells and whistles like game sharing (I don’t care about what anyone else is playing, nor do I care if anyone cares what I’m playing – whats the point? If I wanted to share something I’d go to youtube) This is a GAMING CONSOLE. GAMING should be the primary objective. And for a lot of people, that includes backwards compatibility with PHYSICAL media. Because the older a console gets, the more likely it’ll be for it to fail. PSN games deserve a mention too. A lot of people put TONS of money into PSN games on the PS3. Sure they can still play them on the PS3, Well, what happens when their PS3 eventually dies? PlatStation Now is a decent idea on it’s own. The gaming version of Netflix. But honestly, how many people can even handle the data rate of it? I know a large majority couldn’t. I miss when gaming was about gaming… PS Now would be good for those who wanted it for what it was – Netflix Gaming, but it doesn’t substitute true backwards compatibility. Honestly, I’m the kind of person who actually likes owning the games. Even if it’s a digital download, but less so. At least then, I wouldn’t have to rely on the internet. People rely on the internet way too much. What are you

  8. This is a terrible alternative to backwards coermpatibility. One thing that always gets me, why add all these bells and whistles like game sharing (I don’t care about what anyone else is playing, nor do I care if anyone cares what I’m playing – whats the point? If I wanted to share something I’d go to youtube) This is a GAMING CONSOLE. GAMING should be the primary objective. And for a lot of people, that includes backwards compatibility with PHYSICAL media. Because the older a console gets, the more likely it’ll be for it to fail. PSN games deserve a mention too. A lot of people put TONS of money into PSN games on the PS3. Sure they can still play them on the PS3, Well, what happens when their PS3 eventually dies? PlatStation Now is a decent idea on it’s own. The gaming version of Netflix. But honestly, how many people can even handle the data rate of it? I know a large majority couldn’t. I miss when gaming was about gaming… PS Now would be good for those who wanted it for what it was – Netflix Gaming, but it doesn’t substitute true backwards compatibility. Honestly, I’m the kind of person who actually likes owning the games. Even if it’s a digital download, but less so. At least then, I wouldn’t have to rely on the internet. People rely on the internet way too much.

  9. I see the point in the above-mentioned comment luckily you can store whatever games you have saved to the hard drive on an external hard drive just in case the hardware should conk out or the internet is down….hopefully the same happens with ps4

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