Everything we know about PlayStation Now so far

Sony's online game-streaming and rental service runs in 720p and is coming to PS4, PS3, TVs, and more, but we still have a lot of questions after CES 2014

Sony announced the upcoming PlayStation Now service at their CES keynote address, and we got some hands-on with the system at the show. The service will allow users to stream a selection of PS1, PS2, and PS3 games to both the PS3 and PS4, as well as the PlayStation Vita, Sony 2014 Bravia TVs, and even mobile and tablet devices.

Here are the facts we know so far about PlayStation Now:

  • You’ll need a PlayStation 3 DualShock 3 to play the games on TV and tablets. PlayStation 4 will use the DualShock 4.
  • You’ll still be able to earn trophies like you do in current PS3 games.
  • Multiplayer will also work just like it does on PS3. You can play against other people who are playing the disc-based version of the game.
  • No games have been announced for the service, but the CES demo features four games: The Last of Us, Puppeteer, God of War: Ascension, and Beyond: Two Souls. It's a good bet that those four titles will be available when the service goes live.
  • There will be a “Netflix-like” subscription service available as well as individual game rentals.
  • Games will stream at 720p (though performance will depend on your own bandwidth limitations).
  • PlayStation Now games will allow you to save your progress to the cloud, so if you start playing on your TV, you can pick up where you left off on any other supported device.

What don’t we know yet?

  • How much it will cost.
  • How (or even if) this will tie into your PlayStation Plus subscription.
  • How stable the service runs in a “real world” setting. The CES demo stations Sony had set up were running through the PlayStation Now network, but we don’t know exactly how far away those servers were located from the convention. And it’s safe to assume that a lot fewer people are currently plugged into the in-development network than there will be when it goes live.
  • When it’s coming to TVs or the rest of the world.
    • The beta program is set to start in the US at the end of January, and the final version should roll out on PS3 and PS4 sometime in June. The release date for Vita and Sony Bravia TVs is sometime in 2014. Sony had no details on when the service would get worldwide distribution.

How well does it work? Playing with the system at CES, I didn’t notice any perceptible lag between pushing a button and performing an action, even when playing the platformer Puppeteer or the action title God of War: Ascenion. And graphics-intensive games like Beyond: Two Souls and The Last of Us looked just as good, though slightly less sharp, than when playing from the disc. Be sure to check back at GameSpot for a side-by-side graphics comparison as soon as the system’s beta goes live.

We expect to get a lot more details about the beta soon and full pricing info by E3.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

justinhaywald

Justin Haywald

Senior Editor, Earthbound fan, and snazzy dresser.
The Last of Us

The Last of Us

Follow
296 comments
theKSMM
theKSMM

I'm actually rather excited for the arrival of this service. I haven't considered how much I'd be willing to pay for buffet-style access to the entire PlayStation digital library. $30 per month?

The only downside to this streaming arrangement is that it doesn't allow you to play games that you already own on disc. If they give you streaming access to the games that you already own in your digital library, that will be a good hedge, but they should allow you to stream any game when you drop the disc in the PS4.

nimd4
nimd4

@ps3gamer1234 Honestly, I couldn't care less about any online and/or cloud services; that is, as long as they're designed for the purpose of (only) extracting money from our wallets. Once they become useful, then yeah (with millions of users, the price can literally be in cents and not what they're all trying to charge currently).

theKSMM
theKSMM

Online services for cents per month huh? You've clearly never run a server-based business.

gamergath
gamergath

We'll get to learn about the PlayStation Now come E3 2014!

daveg1
daveg1

if your on a fair usage internet ip forget about this..

Cloud7794
Cloud7794

@frylock1987 What? You do realize that it's a streaming/rental service, right? That means it's running off the internet, not the console. My computer can't play blu-ray discs, but it can run a ripped blu-ray movie.

vallee05
vallee05

I would prefer just paying slightly more for backwards compatible console. What happens if your internet goes out and you're into playing the game(story mode). Believe it or not there are still people without internet or have a usage limit vs satellite internet providers(for some people it's there only option) and satellite internet has a high ping. My old home for 5 years we had satellite internet, horrible experience but that is all we had(or dial-up). I have extremely high speed, I couldn't imagine going to satellite again(but never really asked that question when moving, just thought everyone had high speed internet) lesson learned.


At the end of the day I prefer a physical game on a console, as a gamer and collector. I understand the money invested for greater return for online service but why not have both? Plus, this service no doubt will be over priced(I maybe wrong). Example Hitman trilogy $24 new physical copy, Digital copy it's $24.99 for Hitman 2 and Contracts(but does not include the Blood Money), that is an additional $20. So $54.99for the same game, doesn't make sense and this is what we get for all digital. I hate this push for all digital. As a customer I don't want it, I prefer a hybrid and an option for both. Because of this push I am purchasing much less products. As a profession worker make more money and should be enticed to buy more. I know I'm a minority with backwards compatibility but I think money can still be made with in it, even with increased digital service.

I would like to see a survey on how many people who purchased next gen systems who still purchase last gen games? How much is this hurting game sales? Ex. how much work dark souls 2 make if next gen was backwards compatible?  /end rant

Takeno456
Takeno456

@vallee05 You put that all very well. I agree, a hybrid system is the best option all around.

rad8045
rad8045

some solid advise to all the morons on here complaining, DON'T F#CKING BUY  IT IF IT DOESN'T INTEREST YOU !!!! I hope that has helped you guys get over this pickle. No need for a thank you, its all in a day's work.

rad8045
rad8045

@frylock1987@rad8045 Who said I was buying into this shit ? I just don't see the point getting all cut up over it. Life is better when you think happy thoughts. have a nice cuppa tea and just marvel about how great life is. Or cut yourself up to you ?

DeadHUSKSskiN
DeadHUSKSskiN

PS TURDS : "1080 is the ONLY way.. 1080 1080 1080 1080 1080.. pft.. 720.. have fun with LAST gen.. 1080 1080 XBOX SUX PFFFT 720 LOL LOL 1080 1080!"  Today PS Turds " 720 is cool.. no biggie.. I LOVE 720.. I mean its how it HAS to be, so Im not mad.."

kangsta1111
kangsta1111

Brought the ps2 on launch, ps3 on launch, and when it got red light of death i got another ps3.


Also got the ps4, and was dissapointed by charging us to play online, in the uk its £40 which is the price of a game. Still bought it at online is where its at these days for gaming of course and it was in the end fairly reasonable.


But what I dont like is how its being sold as the premium/support type service which promises free games, much more support and features etc when in the end they will simply build the larger features, better games and exclude them from the playstation plus service.


You just know that was coming, yes its a great feature but isnt £40 a year more then enough to cover new features they bring out? I mean going from free online services to paying to now getting charged essentially DLCs like COD but on the console itself is dissapointing.


Still think Sony have done great and are much better then Microsoft, just dissapointing seing them going back to the typical corporation tactics of DLC where you sell a service to the public and then essentially in the future, create another premium of a premium service which i can see happening in the near future.


Also the internet speeds vary greatly country to country, internet speeds in my area are a joke, some hit up to 20,30 MB whilst others are averaging less then half an MB, and this is in a large city in the UK, very limited audience for this and unless the government themselves increase the internet speed infrastructure, the hardware from companies and internet speed demands will vastly overtake internet broadband infrastructure. 

Pineapple_Head
Pineapple_Head

I'm going to miss the days of backwards compatibility.

Pineapple_Head
Pineapple_Head

@Jak-25@Pineapple_HeadThis reply might be a week late but I wished the PS4 was backwards compatible as well. Right now I don't see the PS4 as a worthy successor to the 60GB PS3 I have now. Ditto for my 360 compared to the X ONE.


It feels like my current systems are more capable then the new models. Most of the games out for the PS4/XONE have ports available for the PS3/360 generation of consoles. I guess I'll wait a few years before making the switch.

bkohary
bkohary

374) It's not an Xbox One

375) It's not a WiiU

376) It's a console

377) It's black

378) It's box-like


Threesixtyci
Threesixtyci

5Mbps!!!? 

Well.. the cost is already going to be over 35 bucks a month.

Raeldor
Raeldor

@Threesixtyci I think most people already have at least 5Mbps internet at home, unless they really live in the sticks.

AzraRillian
AzraRillian

@rarson @djdan200 You are both correct, 5 Mbps is 5000 Kbps (kiloBITS per second), which is the same as 625 KB/s (KiloBytes per second), since there is 8 bits to 1 byte. 

AlexFili
AlexFili

It has potential but there are too many things that can go wrong.

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

@AlexFili For now definitely. I don't think something like this can be perfected for at least 2-3 years, especially since decent internet is still pretty rare in a lot of parts of even the US.

But I think getting a head start on getting it up and running is a good thing, if only for the experience they'll gain if it ever has problems or crashes in the future.

J-007
J-007

Only to an extent this a good idea .. we shouldn't have to pay to rent but to buy past games to keep instead. Money has gone too far... 

torrne667
torrne667

The new toshiba tv is also compatible with this service apparently, dont know how that will work but its a nice idea.

torrne667
torrne667

720p ha ha ha ha ha ha ha  ha ha ha.. shit console etc..cant it do 1080p etc...  this is how this would be ALL THE WAY DOWN THE FUCKING PAGE if this section was for xbox one....Can you see that it is not 'all down the page' ps fanboys? Thats because xbox one people are having fun on their console and dont feel the need to justify their purchase :)

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

@torrne667 What exactly are you doing then, that's different from what you're describing? Shouldn't you be having fun on your Xbox or whatever else you prefer, rather than trying to justify it to PS fanboys? O_o

dr_derogatory
dr_derogatory

@torrne667 While I totally understand the point you're making, because fanboyism is obnoxious, the 720p argument here is pretty weak.  As I stated further down on a similar comment, most games from this past generation were native 720p and upscaled.  Also, due to bandwidth limitations, it only makes sense to have it at a lower resolution for the sake of framerate.  It is a cool concept, but the LAN latency is likely going to be an issue.  


Not sure on that whole "xbox one people" comment either.  While I plan to get an XB1 sometime in the next year, I pulled the trigger on a PS4 (more friends on that system) and am perfectly happy with it.  Frankly, neither system has any system selling software at the moment.  Titanfall (biggest reason why I'm planning on an XB1) will be the system seller that makes people jump into this next gen.  Sony has its own exclusives coming out this year that will do the same.  I also think Destiny will push some systems when it is released.


Anyway, the point being, with your offhand remark at the end of your post you kind of devolve to the fanboyism you complain about at the beginning of your statement.  Ultimately, as long as people are happy with the product they buy, that's all that matters.  Not sure why it has to come down to a necessity to express why a person thinks their choice is the best choice.  It's all just an opinion, anyway. 

torrne667
torrne667

@dr_derogatory @torrne667 Cool story bro...should ask amazon if they want to sell it for kindle. You missed the point, it was basically about how sony fans over-react to any kind of 'other console is lower quality/not performing well' shock horror story. have a nice day anyway

northshire
northshire

@torrne667 @dr_derogatory  Except you're still not getting the part about how these rented games were hardly ever in 1080p to begin with. New titles should be, which is what people complain about, but this isn't the case.


Also, saying things like "cool story bro" makes you sound like you're not even thirteen. I'd drop that.

dr_derogatory
dr_derogatory

@torrne667@dr_derogatory I didn't miss the point at all.  In fact, I even agreed with your sentiment.  I'm not quite sure how you missed that, actually.  My post wasn't intended to be condescending, just making the observation that, in my opinion, you made a slightly hypocritical statement.  Again, the basis of your argument is sound.  Again, I can't stand baseless fanboyism.  I just thought you deviated a bit from your argument by making that last remark.

rarson
rarson

@northshire 

"you're still not getting the part about how these rented games were hardly ever in 1080p to begin with."


No, none of them were 1080p to begin with. The current-gen games so far are barely 1080p, and that's only on the PS4. The only PS3 games that were 1080p were downloadable games with simplistic graphics.

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

Although I myself will probably not be able to take advantage of this kind of service for some time given my own fairly poor connection, I can see how it would work and could be beneficial to other gamers.


However, in saying that, pricing and subscription models will determine a lot with regards to how well this is received by the gaming community. If Sony gets that part right, it could be a win. If not, I reckon it Playstation Now would fall flat on its face.

BadMrSnake
BadMrSnake

Shouldn't they call it the Playstation Later?

svaubel
svaubel

This is their replacement for backwards compatibility. 


Pay to Rent/Stream service.

northshire
northshire

@svaubel Arguably better than something like GameFly, where devs and the system team get 0% of the money for it.

ibonedyourmom
ibonedyourmom

@svaubel And least its an option. If you don't want it, don't get it.  Whats the xbox's replacement for backwards compatibility? Absolutely nothing.

GameBeaten
GameBeaten

When this becomes active, we can still download PS1 and PS2 games from the Playstation Store on PS3 though right?

twisted_sith
twisted_sith

this is really cool. i'm excited for it! i hope it's at least discounted for plus members like music unlimited.

drwhoiscool
drwhoiscool

LAN latency is MUCH MUCH MUCH lower then any type of internet.  What these guys experienced is the Best Case Scenario.  It will never be that good, even if you have a fiber connection.  I would be still interested in it, if I could use my Vita, as FPS I'm not a fan of.

Redsyrup
Redsyrup

Lookout Microsoft! You're looking at new gap. An Online Game Streaming Gap! If you don't compete in the gap-wars you'll be quickly left behind by your enemies... :D

XxAK47xX
XxAK47xX

the lag is not determined by what going on on the screen. you are "basically" playing on a console thats on a server and you are sending signals to the server, something will change and and a 720p/1080p image will be sent back. This is exactly like the onlive service that failed hard. I have a 12 Mbit connection and it was playable but not enjoyable. i had also played it on 30 and 60 mbit connections and it was only slightly better. you wont be playing any shooters or anything that evolves pointing. 

speedfreak1987
speedfreak1987

sorry if already mentioned but does this mean I would be able to stream a PS3 game to my PS4, and play against somebody on a PS3?

senjutsu
senjutsu

@speedfreak1987 Yes. That's the whole point, in fact. I wonder if we'll be able to play PS4 games on the PS3 (surely, but then we'll use a PS4 controller on the PS3?).