Published on February 18th, 2014 | by Paul Edwards0
PlayStation Now – What is it?
During the CES 2014 show, Sony took the wrapping off a potentially great new service called the PlayStation Now (PS Now). In a nutshell, its Netflix for Gamers, or at least Sony gamers. A streaming subscription service that will allow you to access a catalogue of classic and popular games on Sony connected devices like the PS3, PS4, PS Vita and the 2014 line-up of Sony Bravia TV’s. It’s being readied for launch in the North American Markets later this year, but PAL markets are so far out of luck. Sony have also announced its intention to eventually roll it out to a much broader range of internet connected devices.
Made possible by Sony’s $380 million purchase of Gaikai in 2012, Gaikai was a company that specalises in providing technology for streaming high-end video games, either cloud-based or over local networks. With Gaikai’s tech powering the back-end, you should be able to fire up a game from the catalogue in under a minute, with the game updated at the server end rather than you having to do it on your system.
There has been a number of people in the tech media criticising the move as ‘unworkable’, mainly because if your broadband is slow (like a huge number of homes across the world are), will it work? or just keep stuttering to a halt, plus Sony’s rather vague terming of ‘popular and classic games’ probably won’t mean anything under at least 2 years old. Will publishers like Activision be willing to let Sony license Call of Duty: Ghosts anytime soon? Or even Black Ops 2? EA are also known to keep their IP’s under strict control, squeezing every last nickel and dime from the public with no much discounting until no-one is buying it any further.
So, what will be on there?
Older games most lightly, PS1 & 2 games are a good bet. Maybe games from the first few years of the PS3’s lifetime.
How much is it?
No idea. Another little nugget that Sony have left out, but given the general pricing in the PlayStation Store, it probably wont be cheap, like Netflix cheap.
It needs a price point of no more than £9.99 to be popular, unless there is access to newer AAA titles. Maybe they will offer tiered packages, but until they release which publishers are onboard or which games will be available, the price is almost moot.
We believe that Sony will be keen to make a success of PlayStation Now and as broadband keeping getting faster, this could be the future of gaming, no need for new consoles, just get the app, pay your monthly sub and off you go. But, with broadband varying wildly between, not only countries, but also areas within countries, this may take years before we see its full potential fulfilled.
On the other side, would you be willing to fork out £9.99+ just to be able to play a selection of old PS1 or even PS2 games?. Me personally? No. I played some PS1 classics like Resident Evil through the Playstation Store recently, and other than giving me a nice feeling of nostalgia, I haven’t touched it since that initial play.Google+