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Sony's Cloud Gaming Service Is PlayStation Now [UPDATED]

Service heads into beta this month, and fully debuts in the summer.

Update: Sony is not willing to comment on the subscription model at this time, and would not tell me if PlayStation Plus users will automatically gain access.

"We have nothing to announce at this point in time," said a company spokesperson.

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Sony has previously teased a streaming gaming service using the Gaikai technology it acquired in 2012, and now we know what the company has planned. It's called PlayStation Now, and it was just announced at CES.

(Wait, when did CES become relevant for games again?)

PlayStation Now is a subscription-based service (it's unclear if PlayStation Plus subscribers will have to pay an additional fee, but it seems likely) that will give players access to PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3 games. Besides streaming games to PlayStation 4 and Vita, it will also stream to non-PlayStation devices, including phones and tablets.

In addition to a subscription, players will be able to rent games on a per title basis.

PlayStation Now will enter into beta in the United States this month, and rolls out everywhere this summer.

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171 Comments
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Posted by Wlleiotl

shame this didnt happen during the bombcast

Posted by MonstroUK

Dragon's Dogma on Vita? Yes please!

Posted by Dewar

Paying for the service and then paying again to rent the game is a bad deal. It's why On-live failed and it doesn't make me hopeful for this service.

Posted by devilzrule27

@dewar said:

Paying for the service and then paying again to rent the game is a bad deal. It's why On-live failed and it doesn't make me hopeful for this service.

Other write-ups made it sound like an either or thing.

Posted by Hassun

Let's hope it's stable and playable.

Posted by MjHealy

Hopefully my unreliable but relatively fast connection can actually this.

Posted by FonkyMucker

I am curious what sort of deals they have to work out with publishers. Also, I want to play FF Tactics on my PS4!!

Posted by XplusY

I wonder if there will be a way for people to use this to freely access games that they bought previously on PSN?

Posted by Berserker976

Wow.

Posted by mattgriffin

sign me up

Posted by mosdl

@xplusy said:

I wonder if there will be a way for people to use this to freely access games that they bought previously on PSN?

kinda doubt it as streaming costs them money

Online
Posted by jimmyfenix

CRASH BANDICOOT

Posted by MooseyMcMan

I still don't think that internet connections in many areas (mostly the US, I mean) are fast enough for something like this.

Moderator
Posted by Ltwood12

Nintendo needs to do this on Wii U.

Posted by SunBroZak

It's never going to work with my connection, but the notion of streaming PS3 games to my Vita sounds neat.

Edited by DJJoeJoe

Dragon's Dogma on Vita? Yes please!

Doesn't remote play already allow ps3 games on vita, or am I crazy.

PS3 to Vita Remote Play went on to be rarely implemented as well. It retained any games supported by PS3 to PSP Remote Play support, including all PlayStation 1 games, but was again rarely used by actual PS3 games. Only a few games supported it, namely HD Remasters such as The Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection and the God of War Collection

Ah, so yes it does but it's an old inefficient way to do what can now possibly be done just via streaming "all dat shyte" to any device, dropping the resource requirements down and probably also the efforts for emulation that would have had to have been on every console, can now just stream out from Sony's whatever whatever.

Reading wikipedia it says remote play started in 2007, wow that's crazy but I guess that makes sense. SOmetimes it takes a while for these things to catch on (or not catch on). After all, we're still waiting for second screen stuff to really catch fire in an exciting way... the gamecube/gameboy shit is finally going to turn into something?!!?!?

Posted by JJBSterling

This is what I was hoping the PS4 would do since I never had a PS3 and backwards compatibility was out the window, this was my hope to play PS3 games.

But then I bought a PS3 on boxing day so none of that matters I guess.

Posted by makari

"Here at Sony, our vision is offering a paid, digital-only, online broadband-requiring drm future with microtransactions, unlike our competition :trollface:" *audience claps*

Posted by MegaMagick

Playing all of my favorite PS1, PS2, and PS3 games on my PS4? Sold! I'm so glad i upgraded my connection recently, i'll be taking full advantage of this. Hopefully the pricing is reasonable.

Sony is hitting a bunch of home runs right now.

Edited by RobertOrri

A limited beta test only in the United States... and then they expect to roll it out this summer everywhere?

That's quite the increase in bandwidth consumption and potential failures. Why do I have a feeling this will not go smoothly?

Edited by Brendan

Considering the proportion of people on this site that complained about their internet connection not being stable enough to enjoy the Xbox One's initial online only plan, I'm surprised at the positive reception so far for this feature. Judging by the reaction last year, about half of you should never be able to consistently enjoy this.

Posted by DorkyMohr

I hope that this has a better debut than OnLive. It feels like they have a lot of ground to make up on the promise of cloud gaming, and if it's as tepid of a reaction as OnLive then I don't see it developing into something much better.

Edited by JermainJuniorMartinez

Sounds great to me. The primary reason for me not leaving my current PS3 for the PS4 is that I have great games. Certain Universes I refuse to leave behind for example Skyrim, Fallout, and Red Dead. Those three games and the open roam feel of their worlds have me stuck with my PS3. It would be incredible to have definitive versions ( I am guessing that is the new term for HD in this generation) of those three games. Not saying that this service would provide what I crave but if it does man I am ready sign me up Sony and Amazon get my PS4 here ASAP.

Posted by TheLastGunslinger

I have a pretty good connection at home so I'm excited to see how this shapes up. I'm less excited about the prospect of it being an additional payment added to PS+.

Posted by canucks23

@brendan said:

Considering the proportion of people on this site that complained about their internet connection not being stable enough to enjoy the Xbox One's initial online only plan, I'm surprised at the positive reception so far for this feature. Judging by the reaction last year, about half of you should never be able to consistently enjoy this.

The difference being that this isn't any sort of mandatory thing required to play the console.

Posted by StrainedEyes

A limited beta test only in the United States... and then they expect to roll it out this summer everywhere?

That's quite the increase in bandwidth consumption and potential failures. Why do I have a feeling this will not go smoothly?

The summer rollout is just in the US. They announced Europe would be some time in 2015, I believe.

Posted by devilzrule27

@brendan said:

Considering the proportion of people on this site that complained about their internet connection not being stable enough to enjoy the Xbox One's initial online only plan, I'm surprised at the positive reception so far for this feature. Judging by the reaction last year, about half of you should never be able to consistently enjoy this.

Well it is an optional service to provide backwards compatibility not a requirement to play new games.

Posted by marc

My guess is it will be a separate subscription, but that PS+ users will get it at a lower cost. I think that would be totally fair, as I don't think any company would be foolish enough to basically let everyone play all those games free of charge. They are a business after all.

Edited by churrific

@devilzrule27 said:

@dewar said:

Paying for the service and then paying again to rent the game is a bad deal. It's why On-live failed and it doesn't make me hopeful for this service.

Other write-ups made it sound like an either or thing.

Copied from the playstation blog: "so you will be able to rent by title for specific games you are interested in. We’ll also offer a subscription that will enable you to explore a range of titles."

http://blog.us.playstation.com/2014/01/07/playstation-now-streaming-game-service-coming-this-summer/

Edited by adoggz

so would this let me play persona 5? if so than i guess i have to get a ps4 as my gen 4(thats right i said it) console.

Posted by zFUBARz

I wonder how long it'll be till Google decides to sue over the name.

Posted by StrainedEyes

@adoggz said:

so would this let me play persona 5? if so than i guess i have to get a ps4 as my gen 4(thats right i said it) console.

Only if P5 is added into the Library. Who knows what the selection is going to be like outside of first party games.

Posted by Cybexx

You can also stream games on PS3 and you can pay a rental fee for specific titles instead of the subscription.

Also the article I'm reading on the Playstation Blog doesn't say anything about rolling this out worldwide. It says it goes into beta in the US this month and there is a full roll-out in the US this summer. The european blog says there is nothing to announce yet about PAL territory rollout.

Edited by SomeJerk

I am 100% sure the subscription to this will be a separate payment from PS+, because including it in PS+ would be financially nutty and suicidal in ways I wish people could understand. I expect it to look into our past digital purchases on PSN and give us what we own without having to pay an extra penny tnough!

Posted by StrainedEyes

@cybexx said:

You can also stream games on PS3 and you can pay a rental fee for specific titles instead of the subscription.

Also the article I'm reading on the Playstation Blog doesn't say anything about rolling this out worldwide. It says it goes into beta in the US this month and there is a full roll-out in the US this summer. The european blog says there is nothing to announce yet about PAL territory rollout.

EU Gaikai stuff was announced awhile ago as rolling out some time in 2015. I assume that hasn't changed,

Posted by JesterArbo

I'm also hopeful that there is not a subscription plus u have to rent games. I am into paying the subscription or being able to rent games without subscription.

Posted by aku

it might be something like the amazon prime subscription model (movie/video-wise) where selected movies are included in the the subscription, and some movies are available for rent only. probably would depend on deals sony can make with the different publishers of the games.

Posted by nantukoprime

If it is true that hardly anyone uses backwards compatability, then it would be genius to fold that into Playstation Plus. You would get a small but dedicated set of users for the service that would aim to never let their Plus subscription lapse.

More likely, they'll bring back their classic releases into Playstation Plus for the PS4 and the released classics will last as rentals as long as the Plus subscription lasts.

Either way, we'll find out come E3.

Posted by Sergotron

Now is the time more than ever to have a Vita. I am extra happy I just jumped on one.

Posted by StrainedEyes

I could see them giving PS+ members a certain number of free rentals every month.

Posted by l4wd0g

I can't wait to pay to play the games I already own.

Posted by AlexGBRO

i'm asuming if you already have a ps+ sub you get a 50% discount si not then full sub on this new service still great news from sony

Posted by felakuti4life

I can't wait to play Ico on a third, maybe even fourth platform

Posted by mrfluke

the extra monthly fee better not be ridiculous and they better get third parties involved or else this thing will crash hard.

Edited by MetalGearSunny

Wow, that's interesting. The whole rental thing has me interested.

Posted by thebunnyhunter

I hope they let you play the games you already own digitally for free, or add in ps1 and ps2 software emulation. If i have to pay to play my Spyro games which i already have the ps1 classics for ill loose my puppy.

Posted by desolatehero

I hope they offer both rental/subscription and purchase options. I'm very interested to see how this plays out, a lot of great PS1, 2 and 3 games I missed out on.

Posted by GrantHeaslip

No matter how amazing the technology is, it's physically impossible for the latency to be good. It might be acceptable for certain games, but it will never be as good as what we have now, which isn't really great compared to most of gaming history. For an input to see a response, the input has to be sent to the server and processed, the server has to compress the image and send it back, the console has to decompress it, and the screen has to process and display it. I now they're doing some smart stuff to overlap some of those things, but there are hard scientific truths about network latency they can't work around.

I went out of my way to get one of the fastest screens I could, and I'm not going to squander it by adding 100ms or more to the equation. I'm not an elitist about tech -- I use a $150 TN panel with questionable colour accuracy and stereo speakers -- but I can easily tell the difference between a fast and slow display, and that's a pretty trivial amount of latency compared to game streaming. And I haven't even touched on the image compression, which even on the Wii U gamepad is pretty noticeable.

Again, for certain games, this will be playable, but I think people are overestimating how good this will (or even could) be, especially when it comes to stuff designed for the minimal latency of the PS1-PS2 era.

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