Sony’s newly unveiled game streaming service, PlayStation Now might change the way we game on mobile devices.
We’ve heard it before, companies like OnLive promising a console quality gaming experience from anywhere with an internet connection. Whilst start-ups have tried to push this model to consumers before, more often than not such services fizzle into obscurity, but not in the case of Gaikai.
Sony Computer Entertainment acquired the cloud-based gaming service for $380m back in 2012, with the intention of using the company’s technical knowhow to add new strings to the bow of the PlayStation family. In truth it’s fair to say that we were all expecting Gaikai’s efforts to come to light in some Sony-shaped package pre-PlayStation 4, but Kaz Hirai’s address at CES 2014 has finally given us PlayStation Now and it looks like it was worth the wait.
Using Gaikai-based streaming technology, Sony intends to kick the service off by pushing legacy titles from the PlayStation, PS2 and PS3 to its two most recent consoles, but the bigger picture is what’s really exciting.
At the company’s seconds big keynote of the show, Kaz and the rest of the SEC team also promised that a myriad of compatible Sony devices including the PlayStation Vita and even the company’s 2014 BRAVIA TVs, but what does this all mean for mobile users?
Whilst PlayStation certification has granted select Android smartphones and tablets access to original PlayStation titles like Crash Bandicoot, the innovative, immersive mobile gaming experience founded on Sony’s many years in the video games industry has so far been pretty lacking, however, PlayStation Now sounds like the perfect service to amend that fact.
Other streaming services like Netflix and LoveFilm have already managed to leverage 3G networks offer mobile streaming to users in the States and the UK and with the launch of 4G from all the UK’s major carriers reaching completion this year, the planets are aligning to allow a service such as PlayStation Now to exist outside of our home WiFi connections.
The US version of the service is set to arrive later this year, although no official date has been scheduled for a Europe-friendly PAL version just yet. We’ll keep you posted on the progress of PlayStation Now and before you know it you’ll be playing God of War 3 on the daily commute, GTA whilst you’re stuck in traffic or MGS5 in the supermarket car park. There are even murmurs of the service breaking loose from the Android camp and making its way over to iOS as well; a crazy idea you say? A potential few hundred million new Sony Entertainment Network users, says Sony.