The future of Playstation is now
Without question, the biggest piece of gaming news to come out of the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month was Sony's announcement of the PlayStation Now video game streaming service.
One of the few disappointments consumers expressed with the PlayStation 4 console upon its launch was the system's inability to play the prestigious backlog of PlayStation 3 titles including the 2013 blockbuster "The Last of Us." Many had been wondering how exactly the talents of Gaikai, a company which provides technology for the streaming of video games, would be utilized following their acquisition by Sony in 2012. At CES Sony announced their plans for the company.
PlayStation Now is a new steaming distribution platform for PlayStation games that have been released on the PlayStation, the PlayStation 2, and the PlayStation 3. Similar to what services like Netflix currently offer for movies and television programs, no physical copies of the game are necessary and the games are streamed from a server over the Internet.
Since the games are being streamed, hardware requirements are a moot point. In addition to PlayStation 4, Sony intends to implement PlayStation Now support for both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. In a somewhat surprising announcement, Sony also announced their intention to bring the service to certain Smart TVs, tablets, and mobile devices, including some not manufactured by Sony. Any such non - PlayStation devices will require the use of a PlayStation 3, Dual Shock 3 controller to play games.
Additionally, while Sony has stated that the service is recommended for users who have 5 Mbps Internet connection speeds or higher.
For now, not all details are clear. We know that the service will be accessible by either a subscription fee, separate from PlayStation Plus, or on a per title basis with pricing yet to be announced. PlayStation 4 titles will eventually be released to the service as well, however it is not determined as of right now. The service is expected to launch in the United States sometime this summer or fall.The announcement of PlayStation Now fulfills a long-standing promise from Sony to bring legacy PlayStation titles to the PlayStation 4, which notably lacked backwards compatibility at launch. The previous two Sony home consoles each featured full backwards compatibility at launch and even after the PlayStation 3 had its' ability to play PlayStation 2 titles removed, it retained the ability to play PS1 titles, while PS2 games were soon re-released for digital download.The Microsoft Xbox One does not currently support backwards compatibility for legacy titles and the company has not announced plans for any such support in the future.
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