In what is yet another nail in the coffin of physical media, Sony announced today at their CES keynote they’re debuting a new game streaming service, Playstation Now. A streaming service, you say? Like Netflix for video games? Yes, basically.
The full press release can be found below but here’s the short and sweet version: any device that can connect to Playstation Now, a subscription-based streaming service, will have the ability to stream and play games from Sony’s catalog. As of now this includes the PS3, PS4, Vita, and “most 2014 U.S. models of Sony’s BRAVIA TV.” Soon the service will be expanded to include just about any device that connects to the internet! A closed beta of Playstation Now begins this month, with a wide release this summer.
What kinds of games can we expect? Sony exec Andrew House name-droppped The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls as two of the first games to become available, which bodes well. In addition it’s assumed PS1 and PS2 titles will also be available to stream and there’s some murmurings Sony is even working on adding trophies for older titles (because I know gamers are distraught over missing out on potential Crash Bandicoot trophies).
Still no word on the cost of the service or what kind of specs your non-Sony devices will need to run it, but the future of gaming is here and it’s called Playstation Now. Your move, Microsoft.
In addition to PlayStation platforms, most 2014 U.S. models of Sony’s BRAVIA® TV*2 lineup will support PS Now. Eventually the service will expand beyond PlayStation platforms and Sony devices, allowing users to stream PlayStation games on numerous other Internet-connected devices.
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. The accessibility of PS Now means, for example, that PS4 users in the living room can continue playing a game on a PS3 system in their bedroom. Or PS Vita users can enjoy instant access to a game wherever there’s Wi-Fi connectivity, such as outdoors, then can switch to a supporting BRAVIA® TV’s big screen and play the same game after arriving home.
PS Now will offer choice to gamers with how they want to access content. Gamers can rent by title for specific games they are interested in, or they can choose a subscription that delivers additional value with the ability to explore and play many games available across a wide variety of genres. In addition, the service will support many popular PSNSM features such as online multi-player, Trophies, and messages.
“We are thrilled to deliver entertainment experiences only possible from PlayStation through our new streaming game service,” said Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. “PS Now will allow users to engage in the world of PlayStation, whether they’re existing fans or have never owned a PlayStation platform.”
During the 2014 International CES held in Las Vegas from January 7, attendees can visit the Sony booth to have a hands-on experience with the PS Now service for the first time ever. Attendees can enjoy four blockbuster PS3 titles, BEYOND: Two Souls, God of War: Ascension, The Last of Us and Puppeteer from SCE Worldwide Studios, on PS Vita or BRAVIA® TV.
Prior to the official launch, SCE will begin a beta program on PS3 systems in certain regions of the United States from the end of January. Additional information about PS Now will be available at http://us.playstation.com/playstationnow.