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.

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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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