Yesterday, Sony President Andrew House announced at CES 2014 the new game streaming service PlayStation Now. If you remember from awhile back when Sony acquired Gaikai, the cloud-based game streaming service, PlayStation Now is the rebranding of that.
Sony plans to release PlayStation Now on tons of different devices, not just their well known consoles and handhelds. The service will be available on Sony Bravia TVs, and many other third-party internet capable devices such as tablets and phones. Available games for cloud streaming will be from the last three generations of PlayStation games – PS1, PS2, and PS3. Games available for demo at the Sony CES booth were The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls, God of War: Ascension, and Puppeteer.
PlayStation Now will have the capability of cross-platfrom gaming between the different available devices. Technically, when all devices have PlayStation Now available, I could play The Last of Us multiplayer on a Bravia TV with someone who is playing from their PlayStation Vita. PlayStation Now will have a subscription service as well as offering games “for rent.” There’s no word yet on how much the subscription fee costs or how many games will be available on it so far. You can also rent games individually, but you won’t have permanent ownership over the game. My best guess is that PlayStation Now will work like Netflix. You never get to own any of the movies or shows on there, but as long as you’re a paying member, you can play as many as you’d like.
At the end of January, there will be a closed beta on the PlayStation 3. Full release of PlayStation Now is expected to be this summer for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. Availability on PS Vita will release later on. There is no current release date for third-party devices and Bravia TVs.