In his all new column for Low Fat Gaming, our Sony writer Steve takes a look at what went down for the company behind the PS4 and the recent CEX event…
“The tethers that have constrained consumption for decades will soon dissolve.” – Kaz Hirai, CEO Sony.
Let’s take a look at Sony’s most recent announcements at CES 2014; Playstation Now! This is Sony’s entry in to the world of cloud gaming, which we had seen glimpses of at last year’s E3, where Mark Cerny presented the idea to the audience. With Playstation Now! Sony will deliver its content not just to their consoles, but also on Sony TVs, tablets and smart-phones. Sony stated at CES2014 that the service was already up and running at the event and that it will launch a closed beta in the US at the end of the month. Ultimately users will be able to either rent games or pay a subscription to explore a range of titles on Sony’s devices.
So what is this cloud gaming anyway, you might ask? And will all my devices need a similar hardware to the PS4 to run the games? The answer is: No. The service will be able to run on most devices, and you can imagine it more like a Youtube for games. This means the game you want to play is not locally run, but on powerful servers and is streamed to your device. This will bring a new meaning to backwards compatibility, possibly even create the term forwards compatibility (you read it here first!), and will even let older devices play graphically impressive games. All you need is an internet connection with a low latency (Which at the moment is not available in most regions of Europe), and at least 5 mb/s speed so the time of your input and the reaction in the game you are playing is as low as possible. The service will first be available on PS4 and PS3, which will soon be followed by the PSVita and by the end of the year, most other current Sony devices. Interesting to note is that your save games will also be stored online, which could dampen the gaming experience when the internet is down.
In the same vane Sony announced a similarly working streaming service for TV programs. Sadly Sony is still to announce when European gamers and Sony users will be able to enjoy these services. One can only hope that Playstation Now! will not go the way of the Dodo and OnLive and disappear into the nether, but that Sony has learned from mistakes that have been made in the past and deliver an experience where Greatness awaits!
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Looking forward to Playstation Now? What do you think Microsoft’s answer will be? Sound off in the comments below!