Sony's much-anticipated game streaming service, PlayStation Now, is now available through a public beta in the United States and Canada for the PlayStation 4. The service has been in closed beta since January, and will come to other platforms and regions sometime in the future.
To help get you up to speed on everything the PlayStation Now beta has to offer, Sony released a walkthrough video featuring commentary from Jack Buser, who is senior director for the service. More than 100 games are available through PlayStation Now currently, and you can rent them for a variety of durations (as short as four hours) and for a range of prices (as low as $1.99).
If you rent a game and then want to purchase the full product later on, your progress will be saved through Sony's cloud servers, allowing you to pick up where you left off.
The first thing you'll want to do when you fire up the PlayStation Now beta (available in the PlayStation Store on PS4) is access the "Connection Test." This will determine if your broadband connection is beefy enough to run PlayStation Now and get good results. Sony recommends at least a 5Mbps connection for an optimal experience on PlayStation Now.
PlayStation Now supports both wired and wireless connection types, but Buser says a wired connection is preferable because it is often more stable than wireless.
In addition, Buser stressed that the PlayStation Now beta you see today is just that, a beta. It's "early days," he says, adding that it is important that users share feedback with Sony so they can make the product better in the long run. "We're going to be listening closely to what the gamers tell us, and [PlayStation Now] will evolve over time."
Though you will only find a la carte rental options on PlayStation Now today, Buser reiterated that Sony is planning to offer a Netflix-style subscription plan sometime in the future. "It's definitely something [that's] in the works. So stay tuned for that," he said.
For more on PlayStation Now, check out GameSpot's in-depth interview with Sony about the streaming service.