Sony (NYSE:SNE) announced its much anticipated service called PlayStation Now at 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, Nev., a move which may finally break the cycle of not being able to play older games on the latest generation of consoles.
According to the official Sony PlayStation blog, PlayStation Now users will be able to stream “popular hits and classic games from the PS3 library, first on PS4 and PS3 systems, followed by PS Vita.”
While rumors and attention around the previously in-development PS Now service was focused on the PlayStation 4 being able to stream older games in the PlayStation collection, Sony announced a surprise detail about the way it is planning to implement the PS Now service. In addition to rolling out the PS Now service to the PS4, PS3 and PS Vita, non-PlayStation devices such as 2014 Sony Bravia TV models will also support PS Now. Other Internet-connected devices such as tablets and smartphones are expected to be supported in the future as well.
While PS Now won’t be immediately available to all customers immediately, beta testing of the PS Now service is scheduled to start at the end of January with a full US release sometime in Summer 2014.
What about costs? Sony plans to offer a flexible pricing model to access content, ranging from individual game rentals to subscription services that allow players explore a range of titles.
The PS Now announcement has been highly anticipated for quite some time since Sony acquired Gaikai. Since the PlayStation 4 is not backwards compatible with the previous generation of PlayStation consoles such as the PS3, analysts and video game industry spectators were waiting patiently to see how Sony would implement the technology acquired by their purchase of Gaikai.
Part of the technology developed by Gaikai has already seen public use through the Remote Play feature of the PS4 that enables PS4 owners to remotely connect to their PlayStation 4 from a PS Vita that has been paired with the console.
In the meantime, other countries will have to wait for PS Now, as a release date hasn’t been announced for PS Now outside of the US.
PlayStation Now has big potential for players since it enables players of even the most recent console to enjoy older PlayStation titles on almost any device that supports PS Now.
How do you think Sony’s announcement of PS Now will affect the video game industry as a whole? Let us know in the comments.