During Kazuo Hirai’s keynote at CES 2014, Andrew House took the stage and dropped the bombshell that the much spoken about Gaikai streaming service would resurface under the branding of PlayStation Now.
The newly titled streaming service is beyond the scope of anything ever suggested by Sony in the past, allowing users to stream PS1, PS2 and PS3 titles across multiple devices. Furthermore, streamed-games will retain many staples of the PlayStation-brand, including Trophies, Multiplayer and messages.
Perhaps even more tantalizing was the reveal that you this service extend to PlayStation devices like the PS Vita, but also select Sony-branded TV’s and smartphones.
PlayStation Now will enter a closed-beta regionally within the United States in January of this year, with a full-release in the nation sometime in the Summer. A roll out is planned for other regions, such as Europe; but nothing definitive thus far.
Attendees of the show will also be given the ability to test the service by playing either; BEYOND: Two Souls, God of War: Ascension, The Last of Us and the Puppeteer on either PS Vita, or a BRAVIA TV.
Senior Manager of PlayStation Digital Platform Matt Harper took to the Official PlayStation Blog to shed some light on the finer points of PlayStation Now.
The information most fundamental to convey is that as with most streaming services, PS Now will require a minimum connection speed to ensure an optimal experience.
“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.”
Harper then went on elaborate on the topic, explaining the results should your connection dip, or fail completely.
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.
Lastly, it seems that while much of the PlayStation catalogue will become released at some point, PlayStation 3 games will be given priority and will be made available from launch.
“PS Now will offer PS3 games now but we are considering measures to offer other content in the future. We’ll definitely share more info as the service evolves.”
This is obviously a huge announcement which is sure to evolve as time moves on. We’ll have more details as they arise.