Details are still relatively scarce on PlayStation Now, Sony's upcoming game streaming service, but we know that Sony intends to use it to bring core gaming to a larger audience. Thanks to a firsthand demonstration from Sony in New York City, we also know a few more details about how it will look on 4K TVs and what kind of games we can expect to see.
We attended a demonstration of Sony's line of new 4K TVs in New York City on May 6, and saw, among other things, how PlayStation Now will work in tandem with Sony's smart TVs. When the app launches, Sony smart TV users will be able to access PlayStation Now via an app, just as they would access Netflix or Pandora.
PlayStation Now uses the Gaikai cloud storage service to stream games directly to Sony devices, including PS4s, PS Vitas and Sony smart TVs. Since the game is rendered in the cloud, having a powerful gaming system isn't a necessity (although a DualShock controller is).
We saw Sony demonstrate "Sniper Elite V2," and the experience was passable, but hardly up to the standards of the PS3 version. The game functioned without any perceptible lag. Movement and gunplay were both smooth, but the game did not look very good, even upscaled on a 4K TV. The characters and textures were both blurry, and the screen occasionally tore during intense action sequences.
Since PlayStation Now is still in its early stages, there's every chance that Sony will iron out the kinks before the product reaches consumers. The company also has yet to announce pricing, as both à la carte and subscription models are currently under consideration.
While Sony has yet to announce a complete list of games available for PlayStation Now, we did get to see a few, and the variety of titles is promising. In addition to the critical darling "The Last of Us," PlayStation Now will support romantic puzzler "Catherine," cult favorite role-playing game "Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness" and madcap open-world crime game "Saints Row: The Third." Sony has about twenty titles on the roster, although whether they will make the first round of releases is yet to be seen.
PlayStation Now appears rough around the edges, but it's still a fascinating idea that could bring high-quality gaming experiences to a whole group of people who may never have had a console-quality gaming experience before.
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