Sony announces PlayStation Now service for streaming older console games to TVs, phones and tablets

Sony announces PlayStation Now service for streaming older console games to TVs, phones and tablets

At its CES keynote on Tuesday, Sony announced PlayStation Now, a new game streaming service that will bring older titles from the original PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 to the PlayStation 4, PS Vita,  smartphones, Bravia TVs and tablets.

Games will be available via rental or subscription. PlayStation Now is based on the Gaikai streaming technology that Sony purchased in 2012.

The service is expected to go live in the US this summer, though a closed beta will take place later this month. Sony is demoing PlayStation Now at CES with The Last of Us, a critically acclaimed PlayStation 3 title from developer Naughty Dog, streaming to a Bravia TV and the PS Vita.

Sony plans to launch PlayStation Now on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 first before bringing it to the PS Vita. It also noted that most 2014 models of its Bravia lineup will support the feature. The official press release didn’t mention timing for the smartphone and tablet version of the service.

PlayStation Now should offer an elegant solution for the PlayStation 4’s unfortunate lack of backwards compatibility with the PlayStation 3, and it’s nice to see the PlayStation back catalog spreading to other types of devices.

A quick survey of the TNW team found plenty of excitement about the new game streaming service. Some of us had taken a wait-and-see approach to buying a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One, and PlayStation Now looks like it will tip the decision toward Sony.

Sony also revealed during its keynote that it sold 4.2 million PS4s last year, handily beating the Xbox One’s 3 million units. Over the holidays, PlayStation 4 owners accounted for 20 percent of Twitch’s broadcasters.

Follow all of our CES 2014 coverage here.

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