Sony has recently announced their PlayStation Now service will debut this summer at this year’s Consumer Electronic Show (CES) 2014 conference. a beta program will begin in the US at the end of January 2014. This new “cloud-based gaming” service will first include the PlayStation 4 and 3 consoles then the PlayStation Vita handheld console and also televisions, tablet computers, and smartphones. Andy House, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, made the announcement yesterday (Tuesday).
Developed by Gaikia, this new service features full game streaming (at 720p resolution) over the Web to familiar devices, televisions (including 2014 Bravia TVs) and Sony consoles as well as other web ready devices in the future. Gaikia initially streaming PC games.
Online multiplayer gameplay, trophy achievement, and game saves among different devices will also be key features. Players can also test their skills against other PlayStation Now players and players using the physical game disc. Rental and subscription plans will be available. PlayStation 3 games will be available at launch and a 5Mbps broadband connection will be recommended.
The cloud will continue at Sony as they also announced a separate upcoming entertainment viewing cloud service including video on demand, live TV, and DVR recording functionality.
Sounds like an exciting possibility that would allow players to have backwards compatibility on their PlayStation 4 as well as convenient access to a game library that caters to users wherever they are and whatever device they have. What do you think of PlayStation Now? Are the days numbered for stores that sell physical game discs?