Report: Sony builds custom PS3 hardware to power PlayStation Now streaming service

Sources say company has created system featuring eight console units built into a single rack server.

Sony has created custom PlayStation 3 hardware to power its newly announced streaming service PlayStation Now, sources with knowledge of the project have told Digital Foundry at Eurogamer. This custom-designed PS3 reportedly features eight "custom console units" built into one single rack server. This basically means that PlayStation Now servers are actually PS3s.

"Gaikai was primarily a software team, but once it was bought up by Sony it was suddenly faced with a problem that could only be tackled by bespoke hardware. In creating new PS3 servers for the PlayStation Now, the team worked closely with their new colleagues in engineering, creating a new PS3 adapted to the cloud streaming challenge," Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter writes.

As Digital Foundry points out, these custom-designed PS3s will be used by many, but probably never seen outside of Sony offices. No images of the systems were published as part of Digital Foundry's report.

PlayStation Now enters a beta period in the next couple weeks, though Sony has yet to reveal any specific details about this testing period, before a wider US rollout this summer. Digital Foundry's report claims Japan and Korea will get the service at the end of 2014, while Europe will reportedly have to wait the longest: Q1 2015.

For more on PlayStation Now, check out our round-up of everything we know about the streaming service so far.

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Discussion

124 comments
Marky360
Marky360

I sure wouldn't mind seeing what this custom PS3 looks like bet it would be interesting looking if not just the guts of 8 PS3's attached to a server rack.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I think I remember reports saying companies have been stacking PS3 as servers since the machine was released. Seems like an appropriate use of the hardware, if a little makeshift for such an undertaking.

Paul2004
Paul2004

Thats one way to get rid of the old hardware, i like their style :P. Consoles are becoming more and more like mini PC's so this is a pretty good idea if they can pull it off, but only if it can compete with the demand...i think they are gonna need some more servers ;)

rasterror
rasterror

I wonder what happens when an update bricks the service?

uncagedpaul_86
uncagedpaul_86

So can I access playstation now in the UK when it launches in the US if i have an american psn account? 


StHapns247
StHapns247

I make similar thing, but call it "PC"

404FredNotFound
404FredNotFound

I still don't understand why the rest of Europe has to wait so much to get PSNow, there is allot more of potential buyers in Europe then in the US since Europe internet infrastructure is at this point better then the US, and its more condensed too.

jeromechillin55
jeromechillin55

FYI: The Air Force Uses around 1,700 Ps3's to build a super computer which was (at the time) to be the 34th fastest super computer in the world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_3_cluster

Sony Ps3 always have potential to be great even today,



What can the military do with an xbox????? Nothing but use it's controller to fly drones

repetitious
repetitious

Refresh the newswire pony punks, lunch has been served.

Silacio
Silacio

It seems like they would need more servers with these custom consoles. I get the feeling it will receive more traffic than they anticipated.

Halloll
Halloll

Of course it runs on PS3, Like you expected PC to run the complex land of Oz that was the PS3 architecture.

platinum_d1
platinum_d1

Sounds good and i would love to see how they look

sonystark
sonystark

I might actually get a Vita now, i will basically have the entire PS3 library on the palm of my hand

drodriguesaar
drodriguesaar

Nice. I would like to see this rack and how they managed this.

Riddick123
Riddick123

"This custom-designed PS3 reportedly features eight "custom console units" built into one single rack server. This basically means that PlayStation Now servers are actually PS3s"


Question, did Sony say this or is this Eddie's comment?  Because...no shit.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

Since the PS3 uses cell processor. This is the only way Sony could stream PS3 games to PS4.so the rest of Gaikai would be used for PS2 and PS1 games along with this PS3 Strap on set up.


As long as it works

bfa1509
bfa1509

Good stuff. I would easily get another 4-5 years out of the ps3.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

Doesn't really matter what they are doing on their end does it? What really matters is how it comes over on our side. 

And whether the quality justifies paying a subscription for basically the rest of time if you want to play your games when you actually want to.

streamline
streamline

Glad to know that they are still able to squeeze life out of the cell processor.

DMCx
DMCx

hmm sony have really creative people on board i like it

deadpen
deadpen

@PlatinumPaladin I think Hussein bought something like 300 and had them connected together to make flight simulators for his troops. 

hystavito
hystavito

@PlatinumPaladin I think most of that was research stuff, problems that are well suited to certain specific capabilities of the hardware.

untouchables111
untouchables111

What do u think the hardware in a pc is? It's the same hardware in a ps3. CPU Gpu ram and a whole bunch of sub systems moving bits around.

untouchables111
untouchables111

This is Sooo true Xbox kinect and it's controllers are used in my engineering dept in many projects but not the system. PS3 is used for soo many power house applications. And yes there is faster stuff out there but it's still kool

Kracka2205
Kracka2205

@deadpen Those were PS2s. Hussein was overthrown in 2003, long before PS3 came out.

willjohnboy
willjohnboy

@purplestone6988@404FredNotFound It's true the American Market is bigger there's no denying that and Sony is trying to reclaim some of the fans they lost from the PS2 days but at this moment Europe is Sonyland, it would be great for Playstation Now's reputation if it released in Europe within a few months of it's US release or even on the same day it would sell well, and when the American market sees it selling well it may convince them to get it be it for their PS3, PS4, phone or tablet.

repetitious
repetitious

You apparently dont read the. Sony comments much.

Btw, pc here bub, good try tho.

Riddick123
Riddick123

@noandno  I thought you dubbed him King Edward the something or another.

Riddick123
Riddick123

@stevos_best_dog @tomservo51 @noandno Surprised this comment train hasn't popped up on the radar.  BTW, did I mention that it is shocking that Sony has chosen not to use that abomination Server 2013?  Oh yeah..I did.

Riddick123
Riddick123

@stevos_best_dog @noandno @Riddick123 I can't fathom why it matters anymore.  I fully expect to get bashed at some point when I post on a forum or comment section.