I watched Sony’s first CES…erm…presentation (Sunday evening). It was all about the gadgets and new Sony tech but little to no Playstation made an appearance at all. Sony ended, though, with a promise that the next day’s CES Keynote would touch on some exciting things for Playstation. I was, at that point, intrigued.
Sure enough, Kaz owned the stage the next day and ended that…erm…presentation…with Andrew House presenting some interesting tidbits about Sony’s proposed TV service that allegedly can replace cable before rounding things out with what is the culmination of the $380 million Gaikai purchase in 2012 known as Playstation Now.
PSNow (did I coin this? I’M COINING THIS!) is a proposed service that will allow subscribers to stream a select library of previous-generation PSOne, PS2, and PS3 games – or non-subscribers to rent them, streaming – on virtually any device including Bravia TVs, smartphones and tablets. Read on to see what TRG staff has to say about the proposed service that will hold a closed beta at the end of this month and purportedly launch this summer:
Matt: My immediate reaction was “wow,” mostly because Kaz said it 26 times during the presentation but also because I truly was “wowed” at the concept. Such a wide array of devices including TVs and non-Sony smart devices? That prospect is impressive to say the least.
The one thing on everyone’s mind, though, is latency. How much or little will there be? I, for one, do not think this will be an issue. Sony is building their network infrastructure even as we speak and early indications are, as long as there are ENOUGH servers, latency will be minimal if still noticeable. Most people who choose to use this service to rent or even subscribe and play games won’t be turned off too terribly by slight latency. Perhaps it will only be a viable option for certain game types or perhaps it will be as responsive as PS4 to Vita remote play. Either way, the audience for this will be huge for the playing of backlogged games that they may not have had a chance to play in previous generations.
On the off chance that latency is bad enough to turn a large portion of people off, the foundation is being laid. It can only improve over time and PSNow presents an exciting new era in gaming access anyway.
Carl: Is Sony’s New Service something to marvel about?
Sony launching PlayStation Now is actually no surprise to me. I remember reading about the deal being made for the Gaikai streaming service to be bought out by Sony which seems to be coming in handy now. Being able to play any game from a vast array of titles from Sony’s last 3 systems seems like a fantastic idea to me. I am more curious to see how they plan to handle people using PS3 and someone using a PS4 how the online connectivity is going to be, though. I am not a know it all when it comes to connections and whatnot, but I know 2 systems built different and process information differently might be a bit touchy, and maybe even not possible. I am sure that once it is launched we will find out plenty on what is good and not good about PlayStation Now.
Would I say I am excited about it? meh, not really. I think that it was something a lot of gaming people knew was coming. Is it a rip off of Sega Channel? Yes, but I think it is the day and age where this idea will work. I have been a Sony fan for a long time now, but I still think that if Nintendo would have made this move a while back they would totally be beating the other consoles out.
Walter: Playstation Now could change the way that consoles get their games out to the public. Not many stores carry PS1 or 2 games anymore and there are people who want to play them again. Seeing as though the current PSN offering is very slim compared to the actual library, a lot of people will want in just to play their favorite game.
I can see this being a tiered system, very easily. Where PS1 and 2 games cost a certain amount, and you get PS3 for a higher price per month and PS4 for a top tier price. If this is the case, I can see most gaming stores losing a lot of business because of it. However, that depends solely on how well Sony rolls this out. If it’s a half-assed rollout, complete with network crashes, bugs, and general inability to get onto the network, then a lot of people will cancel right away.
So, I guess what I am trying to say is that the only people who can doom Sony with this, is Sony. They have a firm grasp on this generation of gaming so far, but can lose it very quickly with a failed launch of PSNow.
And the obligatory, cliche question: What do you think of Sony’s proposed streaming…gaming…servicing…thing…? Good idea? Bad idea? How is it on paper compared to hypothetical or realistic practice? Let us know in the comments below!