Back in January, Sony announced PlayStation Now, a system that lets you stream older Playstation games. It's in beta now, so you can finally watch it in action.
The overall Now experience was really smooth. You can skim through the library and get games up and running really quickly, and they work well once they're up. All this comes with the big caveat that the service only works when you have a wired internet connection.
The first thing you see when you boot up Now is a reminder that you need a wired connection, so it's no secret. You can try and connect with a Wi-Fi connection, but as you can see in the video above, (around 1:40) trying to connect with subpar internet just isn't even worth trying.
The video quality is actually surprisingly good. I tested it out with Dead Island: Riptide, which maxes out at 720p with the original PS3 disc version, but it ran in 1080p on Playstation Now.
The biggest question with streaming game services is response time. Normally there's an almost imperceptible delay between when you press a button on your controller and when something happens on the TV. Since this game is running on a server, your controller inputs have to go through the internet, and the video signal has to be sent back to your TV. This can drastically increase the delay between when you press a button and see the result.
The response times on the PlayStation Now are pretty good. At first, I barely noticed any lag at all. I missed some of the quicktime events when being grabbed by a zombie in Riptide, but for the most part felt OK about it. Then I went to the PS3 version and that was when I really noticed a difference. After playing the first section of the game on PS3, I did it again on Now. I could really feel the sluggishness, especially when going for headshots with guns instead of wildly swinging sticks.
It will definitely work well for a lot of games, but the more quick reactions a game requires, the more you'll want to find another way to play it.
Check out the video to see more of Playstation Now in action, and you can sign up for the beta yourself here.