Sony has revealed a new platform at CES 2014 which will allow PlayStation games to be streamed to Android devices. The service will initially be supporting the PS3 and PS4 where consumers will be able to play a game without buying the disc or downloading it. Later on, support for the PS Vita and 2014 Sony Bravia TV models will also arrive.
Based on the presentation made by the company the service will also be supporting smartphones and tablets. This means that you might not even need to buy a PlayStation console to play any of the PlayStation games as you can stream it directly to your device. This is basically the same as the OnLive service except that PlayStation games are being streamed instead of PC games.
PlayStation Now is made possible through Sony’s acquisition of Gaikai, a game streaming company, a few years ago. By integrating the technology of Gaikai into PlayStation the company is able to become the first among the big three gaming console makers to support streaming games.
Over at CES 2014 the service was demoed with “The Last of Us” PS3 game played over a PS Vita. Overall the performance was good with only a few noticeable visual artifacts which are common on a streaming service.
There are a couple of challenges to this service though. Those who want to use this must have a fast Internet connection with low latency. There’s a big possibility that game lag will exist. This is because every time you make a move, dodge, fire, or issue any command it will first be sent to a remote server. The server will then process your command then send it back to you.
The great thing about PlayStation Now is that you won’t need a powerful hardware to play all your favorite PlayStation titles. Your device does not need to have a high end graphics chip since all the processing is being handled by the remote server. You also don’t need to download a huge game or purchase a physical disc to play your favorite title.
Sony says that PlayStation Now will be launching in closed beta this coming January. The company is hoping that the full service will become available in the summer of 2014. Consumers will be able to enjoy Netflix-style subscription or individual game rentals.