All's been quiet on the Gaikai game streaming service front ever since Sony announced it was still working on the project to bring legacy PlayStation titles to other platforms, but now the curtain has been pulled back on the initiative and the company has announced some of its plans. Dubbed PlayStation Now, the new service aims to be a Netflix of games with titles running on distant Sony servers through the famous technology cloud. PlayStation Now has been front and center at CES this week with a selection of PlayStation 3 titles like The Last of Us and God of War: Ascension playable on platforms such as the PS Vita and plenty of outlets have remarked on the quality and enjoyability of the demos, but like any other streaming service, you're going to need a decent Internet connection that's not capped by your ISP to get the most of out it. Here's some of the pitch from the PlayStation Blog:
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.
We want to offer you choice when it comes to how you want to access content on PS Now, so you will be able to rent by title for specific games you are interested in. We’ll also offer a subscription that will enable you to explore a range of titles.
There's some great potential here if PlayStation Now is done right and offers the level of quality that players will expect and demand. It's not true backwards compatibility in that there's more subscriptions happening here and you'll never own any of these games outright in this format, but it's better than no modern access at all to older titles. I'd much rather own games (even in just a digital format if I can't have the disc) to lock in ownership and be able to play long after a license deal making a game available to me expires, but this is the way the industry wants to go, so I suppose we'll have to take what we can get. For the right monthly fee and library size, PlayStation Now would be a great way to supplement one's collection, but I'd never count myself as truly owning anything available on the service. Want to know more? You can sign up for more information about PlayStation Now with Sony itself and USgamer has a wonderful summary of the announcement and some of the little news bites that have slipped through the cracks.