Playstation Now: Bringing Digital Game Rentals, Instant Game Streaming and Cloud Saves

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Today, at CES 2014 in Las Vegas, Sony announced the future of their Gaikai gaming streaming service which has been branded as PlayStation Now (PS Now) coming available in the US this summer. Sony is expecting to enable Playstation users the convenience of streaming the wide list of titles from the PS3. Playstation Now will be initiated first on the PS4 and PS3 followed by the PS Vita according to the Playstation Blog.

Taking it a step further Sony also plans to offer Playstation Now through their US modeled BRAVIA TV lineup.

Leveraging Gaikai’s advanced cloud-based technology, PlayStation Now will allow you to:

  • Play video games instantly across multiple devices, similar to the way you might stream TV, movies, and music.
  • Stream full games to all of your compatible PlayStation devices including PS4, PS3, and PlayStation Vita as well as non-PlayStation devices, beginning with 2014 BRAVIA TV models and expanding to numerous other Internet-connected devices.
  • Always play the most updated version of your game. With games hosted in the cloud, you can take your game with you – just log in with your Sony Entertainment Network account on a compatible device and your games and saved progress will be easily available.

According to Playstation Lifestyle Sony Matt Harper, Senior Manager of PlayStation Digital Platforms spoke about other aspects of PlayStation Now, including renting and the subscription:

With PS Now, you can rent by title for specific games, or you can choose a subscription that delivers additional value with a wide variety of genres. For example, you can try out a game by rental first, before deciding to actually purchase the full game and download it to your console. We believe this streaming game service will add tons of value to dedicated game consoles in addition to packaged and downloaded games, and in doing so, we will open up a new world of possibilities across PlayStation platforms.

Of course, one of the big reasons we are offering a closed beta is to get feedback on all aspects of the service, including of course the experience with rentals and subscriptions, so we look forward to hearing more feedback from our community as we move through the beta.

He then discussed how fast of a connection is optimal for PlayStation Now:

We recommend a 5MBPS+ connection.

In our internal tests, users with this bandwidth or greater have been enjoying a low latency, high-quality gaming experience. PS Now tests your connection of each game and optimizes for quality if you are above the minimum requirements. We strive to make the gameplay experience feel as if the game is being played locally on their device – fast and responsive (including for FPS and games with twitch mechanics). The Closed Beta will definitely provide a great opportunity to test the experience with gamers with varying connection speeds and our developers will, of course, be working diligently to optimize the service based upon the feedback we receive from the community.

Update: Matt Harper has continued to talk about PlayStation Now, revealing what may happen if your connection drops:

PS Now is a streaming service, but you of course will continue to be able to download titles to PlayStation devices from the PlayStation Store. If your connection drops while using PS Now, we may temporarily and adaptively reduce your resolution to maintain a responsive experience.

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