Today at CES, Sony’s Andrew House announced that the online game streaming service first promised by Sony at the PS4’s reveal, has been renamed called PlayStation Now. PlayStation now will bring a the large library of PlayStation games to the PS4, PS Vita, PS3, Sony Bravia televisions, tablets and smartphones via the internet. Players will be able to stream PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3 games to all of these devices. While the number of titles will likely be limited at first, Sony has confirmed that The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls, Puppeteer and God of War: Ascension are playable on Sony Bravia TVs and PS Vitas at the Sony booth during CES.
Sony has promised that PlayStation Now will allow gamers to access games from the PlayStation’s past, by either rental per game or a subscription service. Neither of these two have been fully outlined now, but one could assume that the subscription will allow gamers either a certain number of titles per month, or be unlimited. The service will go into closed beta at the end of January, with a planned roll out of the service for Summer 2014.
PlayStation Now is the evolution of the Gaiki cloud gaming service Sony purchased in 2012 for $380 million. Sony announced Gaikai will be coming to PS4 in 2014, but many felt that was a lofty goal at the time. It seems as though the service will be rolling out on not just PlayStation 4, but the entire Sony family of electronics, as well as smartphones and tablets. During this press conference, Sony decided to one up Microsoft, announcing that the PS4 has sold over 4.2 million units already. Microsoft had announced earlier this week sold over 3 million Xbox Ones.
Many questions still remain for the service: How much will it cost? What games will be involved at launch? Is it just a vehicle for the already large PlayStation Network back catalog of games? Will it’s cost be tied up in another subscription service like PlayStation Plus? I’m sure we will learn more as the year goes on, and we will update you as soon as we learn anything.
This reporter’s opinion: Are you excited about PlayStation Now? I sure as hell am. This could potentially be gaming’s first successful Netflix-style service. I’ll be honest, I didn’t believe we would see much if anything from Gaikai after the PS4 announcement, and assumed it would become one of those classic false promises from game companies. This could really be a killer move for Sony, as they are sitting on a treasure trove of games people want to play. Lets look back at the PS1 and PS2 eras alone: Crash Bandicoot, Shadow of the Colossus, Spyro, God of War, Twisted Metal, and the list goes on. People will pay good money to play games like that on their phones, tablets and smart tvs, let alone PS4, PS Vita and PS3. This is a just plain brilliant move by Sony. Well done.
by, Bobby Marquardt
Image Credit: Polygon