CES 2014: Sony's PlayStation Now promises console gaming without the console

'PlayStation Now' will send data directly to smart televisions

Sony has announced plans to make console-gaming possible without owning a console with the upcoming launch of PlayStation Now, a new cloud gaming platform.

Subscribers to the service will be able to play titles from Sony’s library of games without owning the relevant hardware. The product will launch in the US this summer and will be available on Sony’s Bravia range of smart TVs. There are plans to expand to a range of devices, including smartphones and tablets in the future.

Cloud gaming works by carrying out the computation necessary to play a title on a server instead of local hardware. Images from the game and input from a gamepad are streamed back and forth between the player and the server, although high-speed internet connections are necessary to carry out this operation smoothly.

Sony has not confirmed when the service will reach Europe, citing the “huge number of different [internet] providers and varying connection speeds” as a stumbling block.

“In short, we need a little more time to ensure a smooth and successful roll-out,” Sony noted in a blog.

The new subscription service will be integrated with other streamed media content including movies and music. Sony’s Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai said that this was expected by “the new generation of digital natives,” who want to technology to “bend” to their will.

The move can be seen as part of a wider transition within the gaming industry away from the traditional revenue models of dedicated consoles. Some experts have predicted that the current generation of hardware, the PS4 and the Xbox One will be the last, and that gaming will have to find a new place on users’ many internet-connected devices.

Games available on PlayStation Now will include the critical and commercial success 'The Last of Us'

Despite this, the PS4’s release has proved to be a strong revenue stream for Sony, and the company has sold more than 4.2 million devices between 15 November and 28 December 2013. Rival Microsoft has sold 3 million units since its 22 November release.

Sony's Playstation now service would also offer a solution to backwards-compatibility, the problem of playing old games on newer consoles. Neither the PS4 nor the Xbox One supports older titles, but PlayStation Now could allow games to be streamed to newer devices, with even PS3 titles becoming available on handheld consoles like the PS Vita.

The introduction of PlayStation Now has been long expected after Sony purchased cloud-gaming company Gaikai in 2012 for $380 million (£232m). Previous attempts to offer consumer-friendly cloud gaming included the now-defunct OnLive, a former rival to Gaikai.

OnLive's failure has been ascribed to a number of factors, including the lack of exclusive titles and the need for top-speed internet connections. Sony has a solution to the first problem but the second may still prove a difficulty.

Tech site The Verge reported only a "slightly perceptible lag between button presses and the corresponding action onscreen" when they tested the service, but transplanting this experience into consumers' homes will likely prove a challenge.

In response to the news shares in US game retailer GameStop plummeted. Although the company's stock rose over 78 per cent during the last year, analysts are worried that the shops will go the same way as now-defunct video rental service Blockbuster, with brick-and-mortar stores replaced by online services.

Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

    £6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Infrastructure Engineer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is looking to find a...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Engineer

    £21000 - £23600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor