Is Anyone Excited About PlayStation Now Yet?

One of Sony's hottest video game drawcards is the new cloud streaming service dubbed PS Now. The Gaikai-based platform will allow gamers to access classic PlayStation titles on their tablets and smartphones, including recent titles such as The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls. It sounds quite nifty on paper but anything touted as 'game-changing' often turns into little more than a gimmick. Here's our two cents' worth.

Imagine a streamed gaming service that gave you instant access to the best PlayStation games across every console generation. Now imagine you could play these games on a multitude of non-PlayStation devices, ranging from mobile phones to your smart TV. That's the idea behind PlayStation Now, which will be making its debut sometime in the US summer. (No Australian date as yet.)

The below video was taken at CES 2014, where Sony's Andrew House explains the main principles behind the new service:

According to House, PS Now will "eliminate traditional barriers to gaming". In other words, it removes the need for a physical console, with games beamed directly to a host of non-PlayStation devices, including phones, tablets and smart TVs. (Naturally, the service will also support the PS3, PS4 and PS Vita.)

The obvious catch here is that you're going to need a Dualshock 3 or Dualshock 4 controller to actually play the games. If you own a PlayStation controller, chances are pretty high that you also own the console it belongs to. Just sayin'.

Sony's pledge to capture a whole new audience of PlayStation virgins is therefore a bit suspect, but what does it offer existing gamers? Personally, I have zero interest in playing games on my tablet via a Dualshock controller — a feat which seems to require at least three hands.

Having access to a back catalogue of classic PlayStation games is a lot more intriguing. However, if you just want to play old games on your new console, surely this is something the PlayStation Network could handle on its own? When you take away the "whenever, wherever" aspect of the service, PS Now's strengths become less evident.

Then there are the obvious concerns surrounding Australia's sluggish internet speeds. Streaming high-definition PS3 titles is going to murder most people's connections (assuming we actually get the service before NBN 2.0 rolls out in decades to come).

All in all, we're still a bit hesitant about the PS Now service but anything that puts classic games into more people's hands is nothing to sniff at. Hopefully we'll end up seeing some eclectic old-school titles to go along with the usual suspects. Bring on Robotron X!

What are your thoughts on the PS Now service? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Comments

    I'm wanting it, but Australia's crappy internet shall fail me.

      Hey, that already outdated copper network is fine for the 80 year old focus group we questioned about a faster network.

    The obvious catch here is that you’re going to need a Dualshock 3 or Dualshock 4 controller to actually play the games. If you own a PlayStation controller, chances are pretty high that you also own the console it belongs to

    But if you DON'T own a PS console + controller, picking up a DualShock 4 for $100 or whatever they cost is probably a damn sight more tempting than buying a PS2, a PS3 and a PS4 in order to have access to the full back catalogue.

    But anyway, not on our Australian internet. Sorry.

    Last edited 09/01/14 3:13 pm

      That would have been true a year ago but the PS3 is pretty damn cheap these days. It makes the cost of a standalone controller look insulting.

        What about PS2s? PS1s? How often can you find them, plus games?

          The service will also work through a PS3, which means you can play all those old games on the console. So yeah, if you're going to get a controller specifically for PS Now, might as well get the PS3 too.

            On the other hand - I have a TV mounted on a wall. Why should I need to have a console and ugly wires running up the wall (if they stretch) just to play a game?

            There's use cases for both.

              Sure, there are probably some people out there who want to play old PlayStation games and have neither a PS3 or PS4. But I'm guessing it's a pretty niche audience.

                I don't think anyone is looking at the bigger picture here. I think what they've announced, is just phase 1 of a huge roll out. I reckon we're on our last generation of consoles. Sony have seen the success that steam has enjoyed and said "hey, we can do something similar, but we will do it better". I think their end game is being able to play any game, new or old, on almost any device just by using their service.

        What, 35 bucks for a pre owned DS3 at EB is pretty, Chris.. Given Preowned PS3's start at 180...

    People in Australia excited for this = 5% of the 1% of people running FTTP. so roughly 0.2% of Australians. I'd say roughly 4000 people out of 22.7 odd Million.

      Did you include gamers who might already be close to being capped?

      I'm excited. Granted, I get 21/2.5 on Internode's Annex M because I'm stupid close to my exchange, so I'm lucky.

    such as The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls

    Wow what a selection! The very best PS3 game of last year up against the very worst.

    Streaming services will never work over any sort of 100km+ distance. Everyone complains about input lag on TVs?

    At work we have a gigabit fibre optic network, and the delay in opening <1MB documents across this network is evident.

    As someone who frequently works with Virtual Machines accessed via remote desktop, VNC for Macs, and has seen their fair share of dumb terminals, remote streaming of games isn't really that exciting. Bandwidth, as always, is going to be the biggest concern and until we get nationally hosted servers and decent broadband infrastructure, it's always going to be low on my list of things that excite me. Now, if they started talking hosting via your own machine and being able to stream it to any enabled device, *that* would start getting me excited.

    Not really because they announced this back when they were first announcing PS4. The only new info is that you can now play on tablets (but this is an awful idea).

    I'm curious to know if the back end rendering will be more powerful than a standard PS3... The Last of Us is my favourite game of the generation, but the biggest downfall was the massive framerate drop during the action.

    It probably won't be, but a man can dream can't he?

      This is the strength of HD remakes - solid framerates and better graphics (if they're done right). I don't think the same will happen with Playstation Now.

      I'm really worried that there wont be HD remakes of any Playstation games in the future since Playstation Now might act as an alternative.

    It's sad that my first thought is that it'll probably never make it to this country.

    You're overlooking the fact this will be available through Vitas, Bravias, and other TV's going forward.

    Buying a game I can't get anymore, playing it via a friend's TV (just bring my controller) sounds awesome.

      Not to mention the fact that if you buy the stream game, it'll pause in-state and let you pick it up on another device where you left off.

    I'll get excited when I know what the latency requirements are, KTHX.

    This sounds awesome, like another company that was out a while ago.. Wait, PS bought them...

    The only games I could see that this would work with would be some platforms..
    Unless PS get some / more servers in AUS, that 300+ ms ping is going to kill the experience

    I'm no more excited about PS Now than I was about Gaikai , which is to say not at all, due to lags in input and video processing.

    Let's say we're very lucky and get a PS Now hosting server in Australia. Inputs will be delayed by the lag from the PS4 to the servers, and outputs will be delayed by the same lag in reverse, plus additional lag for the compression and decompression of the video. I figure in the absolute best case we're looking at a latency of 150-200ms added to the event loop, and if the servers are hosted in Japan or the US it will be closer to 500ms.

      It won't matter in some games, but who's gonna want to play a shooter with input lag, ugh.

    With the success of Onlive, I can't see how this could fail. I can't wait to play last gen games with last gen visuals streamed over the internet with controls that have input lag. Where do I sign up?

      You sign up here: http://us.playstation.com/playstationnow/

        oh, I was looking here: https://ebgames.com.au/ps3-151786-160GB-PlayStation-3-preowned-PlayStation-3

    So if you want to play a ps3 game you have on ps4 you have to download it which is essentially buying a second copy.

    I can't see this taking off. Sounds good in theory, but I'm just not convinced.

    Can't really see this catching on in Australia.

    1) Most of todays' LEDs already add a bit of noticeable input lag (at least for me coming from Plamsas). We're then going to add another layer of lag via streaming.

    2) Pretty sure Sony said you need at least a 5mb connection for optimal conditions and most Australians don't go near that

    3) Most Australians have you know, bandwidth caps. Streaming a game for 'X' number of hours you'd think would eat a fair amount of data. Although hopefully Sony does deals with ISPs.

    4) Cost. I'm assuming this won't be built into PS Plus. So a la Live, it'll be a sub on top of sub.

    5) MP. How will MP games work? Or is that no different? Won't that be lag on top of lag on top of lag?

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