Hands on: PlayStation Now game streaming

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Hands on: PlayStation Now game streaming

PS Now

It works! That’s the biggest compliment you could pay the newly revealed PlayStation Now game streaming service formally unveiled at CES 2014. Set to roll out in the US this summer on PS3 and PS4, followed by PS Vita and an array of internet connected devices such as 2014 BRAVIA TVs (see here for more information on the EU launch), PS Now will enable users to stream a library of PS3 titles in real time over the internet.
At the show, gaming media went hands-on with PS Now across two devices, a 2014 BRAVIA TV and a PS Vita. The test drive featured four titles — Beyond: Two Souls, God of War: Ascension, The Last of Us, and Puppeteer. And across the board, the experience was encouraging. PS Now’s advantage lies into its immediacy and access; the ability to hop easily between multiple games across a host of devices without downloading huge files or swapping Blu-ray discs represents a major evolution of the medium.

The Last of Us

On the BRAVIA, I picked up the DualShock 3 and launched into The Last of Us, Naughty Dog‘s award-winning survival drama. Following a brief loading screen, I loaded an early scenario set in the ruins of Boston. So far, so good: the experience looked and felt faithful to playing the game locally on a PS3. I crept through abandoned skyscrapers, evaded marauding Clickers, and engaged in bareknuckle beatdown against a mob of Infected.
In the test demo I played on both the BRAVIA and PS Vita, gameplay latency was a non-issue. I had no trouble maneuvering the camera, aiming at enemies, or fending off incoming attacks. In fact, after a few minutes of play I forgot that I was “streaming a game” — I was just getting absorbed in playing The Last of Us. I also fired up Puppeteer and God of War: Ascension, and the experience was similarly convincing.
At this early stage of PS Now’s development, pixel counters and graphics aficionados might spot some minor concessions in the visual department, such as compression artifacts, consistent with high-quality internet video or gameplay streamed via PS Vita Remote Play.
And as with all bandwidth-intensive streaming content, a player’s experience with PS Now will depend on the overall quality of the broadband internet connection. The PS Now team is currently estimating that a 5 mbps connection will provide a good experience for most game, and they’ll be gathering user feedback during the closed beta before announcing more details.
There are still plenty of details we don’t know about the service that will surely be revealed as we get closer to its launch. But for now, as far as first impressions go, PS Now is looking promising indeed.

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  • Where was the server you streamed from located?

  • can anyone outside the US have it or try the beta when it starts ??

  • What are the requirements for Bravia TV? Will it work on model KDL-40LX900 or KDL-55HX920?

  • It will be cool once it’s all up and running i guess but like with my music and films i like to own the things i got :D

  • Great news..cant wait to try it out..but im a bit concerned about the estimate internet connection,5mbps seems abit unreal but it probably got to do with the size of the game and/or compressed textures losing a bit of detail..lots of countries will suffer quit a bit becquerel in most of them the internet is not the best by normal standards..anyway..gud job Sony..with you all the way.

  • I wonder if this will ever come to Norway, or any Scandinavian countries. I’d love to be able to test this and if it works as good as it sounds then I’d have no problem paying a subscription fee for it either, but I hope it’s not the same disappointment as the Video Store, the Comic Store for PSP or most of these things that never see the light of day in Norway (or other Scandinavian countries).

  • @Kurupt_El_Don
    I use to own a OnLive console pretty much same service Sony is offering with PS NOW. It streamed my games from there network. I fully completed Deus Ex Human Revelation back in 2011 I think it was. Back then i was on the 30mb Virgin package. I had a flawless service then.
    I also tried Onlive in another house which only had a Virgin 10mb package and according to speedtest.net was only getting 7mb. Again it worked flawless playing Duke Nukem Forever.

  • i wonder if we even will see this actually
    1) Video unlimited was promissed in 2009 and now 2014 still not available
    2) every game for the PS4 will have a demo in the store,
    only 4 of the 40 available games have a demo..
    3) comicstore,linux,playtv, and many,many more all got promissed
    but now we still miss it..

  • Is there a UK PLAYSTATION NOW site we can sign up to get the quickest news and reports on Betas etc? Because I seen one that the Americans have and couldn’t sign up due to me “NOT HAVING A ZIP CODE!” So is there anything UK BASED? Thanks!!

  • And when is the PS4 getting a patch so you can do what you can do on the PS3? WATCH AND HAVE ACCESS TO YOUTUBE!!!!

  • @10 You can browse to http://www.youtube.com/tv and get on youtube there

  • Sounds promising for those who always want backwards compatibility but I hope they don’t expand the idea and keep going with physical hard- and software too. I’m also wondering if there’ll be extra costs involved. I own my classics original physical copies, repurchased lots of them digitally, no way I’m paying again to play my classics on other devices. If there are no extra costs involved and we can play the stuff off our download list, maybe. If it turns out being some kind of renting service, not interested. And even if linked with the download list, that would be a huge advantage to those who have their entire library digitally and a major loss for those who buy physically, effectively prefering one side of your public over the other and pushing digital purchasing again (eventhough the PSPGO was a fine example of the fact that people want choices in these matters).. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out

  • the thing that concerns me about this service is how much degredation in the visual quality there will be.
    i used on-live a lot & regardless of connection speed the visual quality was never as good as when actually playing the game on a local system. the image always looked washed out, less sharp & suffered from some pixelation during fast motion.
    i’ve read some of the hands on stuff for this playstation now service from cex & they mention the same thing regarding a decrease in visual quality & compression artefacts on big screen tv’s.
    regardless of connection quality or speed there is going to be a decrease in visual quality (Because its been compressed in order to stream it), question is how big a decrease & how noticeable is it going to be?

  • @cthulhu85
    The PSP Comic Store doesn’t exist anymore. It was shut down a year ago.

  • I really enjoyed enjoyed Gaikai when they had PC demos. Even here on Anglesey with a not so hot connection I thought games like Crysis 2 looked better than the console version, and played really well.
    I really loved meshing around with Farm sim and while I dont like FIFA my brother played it and again it was really solid.
    I do have a question. How the hell are you emulating CELL? That was supposed to be the stumbling block for PS3 streaming.
    I can see it happening with clusters of CELL’s doing the work load. Or a lees efficient method of having a PS3 running for each user.
    But would love to know what method is being used.
    I’d still rather native support of PS1,2,3 games on my PS4. when it was announced that Sony bought out Gaikai I put forward an idea in a singstar. Singstar anywhere on any TV or device could be huge if it was sub based.

  • Not interested one bit until a confirmed European date is set. Pointless getting excited for a feature we may never see. Shame I know, but true

  • My guess… 2016…

  • @MaxDiehard : I know they closed the comic store service, but we waited for ages with the promise that they would continue to expand it, and then suddenly they announced that it would be shut down.
    It’s the same issue with the video store even if it’s not shut down.
    I love Sony hardware and Sony games, but when it comes to these services I’m sure we’re in for another disappointment of endless promises and no service in sight. I’m sure UK and other European countries will get it, but I highly doubt that it will come to Scandinavia.
    I hope I’m wrong though, because if this works with the Vita as they say, then I’m sure I’ll love it. It’s an awesome service that I hope everyone will get.

  • even as someone who loves to collect games physically I can’t wait to stream some of the ps3 games; especially to vita. I wonder if the games streamed will have DLC unlocked or if they will just be stock retail… also hoping for it to be free for ps plus subscribers :P or maybe just a small monthly increase in ps plus for this.

  • Hold your horses. The fun will begin once it is launched in the US. There we will see how and IF it REALLY works. Until then all I have to say is meh!

  • Gotta love the foreign Naysayers. Just let the US and the UK have this. The streaming issues with ISP’sis mostly due to the rest of EU having dodgy speeds so let them go without. Sick of backward caveman EU territories holding the rest of EU back. They only whine, regardless what Sony offers.

  • well there you go problem solved SCEE straight from from the horses mouth saying…
    “The PS Now team is currently estimating that a 5 mbps connection will provide a good experience for most game.”
    so there you are like i said in other post & looking forward like a new born bady in sony family, so if 5MB is alright then everyone has 5MB there are some with less so whats the hold up it cant be speed related?
    im interested to see what the pay of it is it link to our Plus sub most ppl have plus now because it jump to 80% ppl join plus when Ps4 was launch.

  • @RyanAU86
    No, they should not increase the cost of the plus subsription to include this. Not everyone has fast enough internet to use this service and why should they pay extra for a service they can’t even use.
    It’s bad enough as is that they have took away SCEE plus members 3rd ps3 game to pay for ps4 online multiplayer while SCEA kept their 3rd game, without the cost of the plus membership going up as well.

  • to bad we cant get an accesory to give us l2 and r2 so at least we have those two for the vita
    and no the touch pad isnt good replacement for those becouse that thing almost never works when i send it for repairs i get it back the exact same way
    so without those extra buttons its almost as useless as gaming is on a mobile haha

  • and Europe will never get it cause Sony only seem to care about the US.

  • Mixed feelings. In theory, when I read about it, it sounds great. On the other hand when I think that I live in Poland that, at the moment, have not even a single PS4 app support it’s quite obvious that PS Now is nowhere near to lunch here for few good years. Hard to be excited about that.
    By the way, the text here says about 5 Mb/s for a good experience which can confuse people around here as the recommended connection (in that early stage of analysis) is 5MB/s (40 Mb/s) from what I heard.

  • Oh another thing people…
    Don’t yet your hopes up about that SUMMER part as this was idiotically posted by someone from SCEA when we fully well know that this is the SCEE blog and NOT THE SCEA BLOG…

  • House needs to be a bit more specific here, can we still earn trophies while the game is streaming? If not then this feature is completely pointless to me.

  • @SpiderMike_X “The streaming issues with ISP’sis mostly due to the rest of EU having dodgy speeds so let them go without. Sick of backward caveman EU territories holding the rest of EU back.”
    Lol, what?
    GTFO with that nonsense.

  • @Spidermike_x: I hope you realise your country is 1 of those caveman territories. UK isnt even in the top 10 lol.

  • I also fail to see how internet speed for certain people in certain regions should be the factor to not release this in certain countries. Those who have a good enough speed use it, while those who doesn’t, don’t. I feel most adult gamers that I know is on a minimum 20mbps/20mbps line and that’s the target you’re aiming for, ain’t it? Gamers?
    I’d he shocked if it didn’t come to Norway based on how quick the average persons internet is since I feel that is irrelevant.

  • Why post this on EU blog when UK & EU won’t see this feature till late 2015 If past features are to go anything by or we won’t get it at all. I reckon this will be a next gen feature and by that I mean PS5 if that’s what it will be called.

  • @WizzNL
    Most of those high speed countries are only top because most of them are empty and over here in the UK hogging ours.

  • I’m not too bothered about this as its for NA region first so we will prob get it about a year after them if we are lucky.
    I’m still waiting for trophies what we was promised on playstation mobile games.

  • @ #34
    We were never promised trophies on PSM games. Never gonna happen.

  • @26 – you’re right. It amazes me that people still don’t know the difference between Mb and MB.
    There are 8 (b)its in a (B)yte
    The average UK connection speed (based on BT data) is right on the brink of the suggested bandwidth. City areas have larger bandwidth but congenstion problems (unless Fibre is installed) and Rural areas are often still on 8Mb (1MB) Broadband.

  • why is the PS4 still as rubbish as it was on launch day whhave we not had updates yet why realease somthing when its not ready it is still a jumped up ps2

  • Dear Sony
    If you ever want this to work in Australia you are going to have to convince our Government not to ruin the broadband network they are building with with their mixed technology mess, given the state of Australia’s existing copper phone lines the only way this will ever work in Australia is with a majority Fibre to the Premisses network. Please Sony, it is in your best interests to convince the Australian government to build a network that will actually support your new service (along with your 4K video streaming services)
    Yours Hopefully
    Every gamer in Australia

  • Excuse me yet again, foreigners, but the UK is probably one of very few EU countries with a provider of one of the highest fibre optic broadband speeds anywhere – Virgin, so when you consider that most people have between 20-120mb download speeds and up to 15mb upload speeds, regardless what Speedtest tells you, it’s hardly US that’s a caveman territory. Again.
    Also regarding these alleged “top ten lists” they’re based on a average from everyone testing their speeds, and unless OOKLA is invading privacy and providing these tests on their own then “top ten” lists are a moot point.
    You don’t need to believe me, you COULD just backtrack Andrew Houses statements regarding the lack of overall broadband coverage across the EU, but since UK has 85% coverage how would WE be an issue. Online works, Netfliix works and a whole other range of streaming services – PSNow would as well.
    UK isn’t the issue so again, f-bomb the foreigners and let SCEE look after UK, like it always does.
    End of.

  • http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/3223306810
    As you can see, I won’t have any issues and my speeds are faster than 91% of the UK. So I’m set. Hell, just give it to me, Sony ;-)

  • Make a mid-low sub fee or find a way too discount these games for who own the ps3 version.

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