By Raymond Dwyer / June 9th, 2014
Sony has announced that their PlayStation Now service will be launching an open beta on July 31 for PlayStation 4, with PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita to follow shortly thereafter. Sony will also be bringing PlayStation Now to select Sony televisions, which only require a DualShock 3 to use. The service will start with offering access to popular PlayStation 3 games. Regarding pricing, Sony says they’ll be experimenting with “a range of rental durations and prices.”
PlayStation Now was first unveiled at CES 2014 as an end-result of their purchase of Gaikai cloud computing and the goal of “everything everywhere,” distributing all their digital content to as many Sony devices as possible. This service is also being touted as a potential solution to the lack of backwards compatibility for the PlayStation 4, which uses a different x86 architecture in contrast to the PowerPC-based PlayStation 3. This follows hardware modifications to various models of the PlayStation 3 that have occurred throughout the past generation, which gradually reduced backwards compatibility with PS2 games. Early models of the PlayStation 3 contained the emotion engine processor from the PS2 to continue offering backwards-compatibility in their systems, but, during an effort to reduce costs in 2007, replaced it with an emulated version that reduced compatibility in second generation PS3 models. This was removed entirely starting from third generation PS3 models and every iteration since. With the PlayStation 4, Sony certainly isn’t second-guessing that decision, but hopes to achieve a middle ground to appease customers with their new streaming service.
While you wait for the public open beta release, Sony will be sending out 6,000 invitations per day at E3 to participate in the PS4 PlayStation Now private beta. The offer is available to the first people who log in each day to Sony’s E3 2014 app on the PlayStation 4.