During 2014’s CES in Las Vegas, Sony announced a new, innovative way to access and live-stream hundreds of popular and classic games from the PS3’s library. PlayStation Now as the software is being named, will begin by allowing its customers to stream these games onto their PS3 or PS4, although Sony are very focused and keen on broadening that access platform as quickly and widely as possible.
Sony announced that PlayStation Now will not only be accessible via PS3 and PS4, but it will in the future be available on PS Vita, upcoming brands of Sony Bravia television models and could also branch out to an even wider range of internet-connected devices.
Although barely in beta stages, Sony have guaranteed a few features PlayStation Now will offer its users, some of them being things such as: Access to a wide-range of video games across multiple devices. An experience which fosters a similar method to other streaming services such as NetFlix or Spotify. The ability to stream the full versions of hit games on to both PlayStation and non-PlayStation devices, meaning PS3, PS4, Vita, Smart phones, tablets, televisions and maybe even computers. These games won’t be uploaded once and left to gather virtual dust, they’ll be updated frequently, have trophies, be compatible with your latest save games and allow you to play online multiplayer, all of these aspects pointing to the conclusion that PlayStation Now users will have the same experience as a disc or downloadable based gamer, at a possibly cheaper price.
Sony have told gamers “We want to offer you a choice when it comes to how you access content on PS Now, you will be able to rent or buy games, as well as purchase a subscription that will enable you to explore even more titles.” This statement helps act as proof towards what Sony are striving to do, offer the player choice, we’ve always had the option to purchase and rent media using our gaming devices, however we haven’t had the option to do that with video games, let alone from a different generation. This opens up new doors and in that, possibilities for Sony, perhaps Microsoft will be launching “Xbox Now” sometime in the future?
It is said that PlayStation Now’s beta program will begin sometime at the end of January, this beta will be for the US only and with that beta Sony will have a better understanding of how the software is received, they’re estimate release is the summer of 2014, once again for the US, as there are a lot more aspects to consider with different continents such as Europe that America doesn’t have to worry about, although, that doesn’t rule us out forever, just an extended and undisclosed period of time.
The many statements and promises Sony are allegedly going to be keeping raise a lot of questions, a few would be: How will a user be able to play titles using their television or smart phone? Do they become magically compatible with PlayStation controllers? How much will we be expected to pay for such a service? And, one that I’m most concerned about, if the PlayStation Now service does become accessible using the massive range of devices Sony have stated, wouldn’t that just make the purchase of the PlayStation systems irrelevant? Particularly if they start expanding the titles from a PS3 platform to PS4, Vita or even earlier generations such as PS1 and PS2.