As part of its big Consumer Electronics Show (CES) presentation, Sony today announced a new streaming video game service called PlayStation Now. Sony put the U.S. release date for the service at sometime “this summer” and a limited beta test for the U.S. will begin sometime near the end of January.
Through PlayStation Now gamers will be able to stream PlayStation 3 games that Sony considers “popular hits and classic games.” The service will also offer cloud game and save hosting, which can be accessed through Sony accounts on a variety of devices.
The service will roll out on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 consoles first, and come later to the handheld PS Vita. Eventually Sony hopes to put PS Now on a variety of devices, including HDTVs, smartphones, and tablets. Sony’s Bravia TVs will be some of the first to have the service, with “most” of the company’s 2014 Bravia lineup supporting PS Now.
Compatible devices will be able to stream full games that will be available for either rent or purchase. Sony will also be offering a PS Now subscription that will allow subscribers to “explore a range of titles.”
A service like PlayStation Now had been rumored ever since Sony acquired streaming video game company Gaikai back in 2012. With the coming launch of the PlayStation 4, Sony had signaled more than ever that a streaming service could be used to give its new console the backwards compatibility that its hardware is missing.