PlayStation Now: 5mbps+ Recommended, US Mainland at First, Save Files Move, Lots More (Updated)
With PlayStation Now getting detailed at CES 2014, a lot of people are asking a lot of questions about the service, which is scheduled to have a beta this month, with the full rollout in the US this summer.
To give you an answer on some of those questions is Matt Harper, Senior Manager of PlayStation Digital Platforms. Over on the PS Blog, he addressed quite a few people, with the important information placed below in bullet-point form:
- When it comes to announcing a subscription price for PlayStation Now, Harper said, “We’ll be sure to share details with you as we get closer to launch.” E3 would be a good time for that, no?
- Harper reiterated how the beta will arrive “by the end of January,” with “more info about the closed beta, such as participant criteria, in the near future.” It shouldn’t be too difficult to gain access, as he added, “Pretty sure we won’t require you to do anything terrible to get in on the action though ;).”
- On the subject of Canada getting PlayStation Now at the same time as the US, Harper only replied, “It will initially become available in US (mainland). We will announce the service’s availability in other areas when we are ready to expand the service to those customers. More info soon!”
- While PlayStation Now is only going to start by offering PlayStation 3 games, “We are considering measures to offer other content in the future (such as PS1, PS2, and PS4 games).”
- As well, PlayStation Now will initially be offered on PS3, PS4, PS Vita, and Bravia TVs.
- An important part of PlayStation Now is that save files will move with you, as Harper explained, “Good news! Your save files with PS Now games move with you from any PSN now enabled and supported device. With games hosted in the cloud, you can truly take your game with you – just log in with you SEN account and your games and progress will be instantly available.”
- During the beta, they’ll be asking about pricing and more.
Harper also spent some time talking more about other aspects of PlayStation Now, including renting and the subscription:
With PS Now, you can rent by title for specific games, or you can choose a subscription that delivers additional value with a wide variety of genres. For example, you can try out a game by rental first, before deciding to actually purchase the full game and download it to your console. We believe this streaming game service will add tons of value to dedicated game consoles in addition to packaged and downloaded games, and in doing so, we will open up a new world of possibilities across PlayStation platforms.
Of course, one of the big reasons we are offering a closed beta is to get feedback on all aspects of the service, including of course the experience with rentals and subscriptions, so we look forward to hearing more feedback from our community as we move through the beta.
He then discussed how fast of a connection is optimal for PlayStation Now:
We recommend a 5MBPS+ connection.
In our internal tests, users with this bandwidth or greater have been enjoying a low latency, high-quality gaming experience. PS Now tests your connection of each game and optimizes for quality if you are above the minimum requirements. We strive to make the gameplay experience feel as if the game is being played locally on their device – fast and responsive (including for FPS and games with twitch mechanics). The Closed Beta will definitely provide a great opportunity to test the experience with gamers with varying connection speeds and our developers will, of course, be working diligently to optimize the service based upon the feedback we receive from the community.
Update: Matt Harper has continued to talk about PlayStation Now, revealing what may happen if your connection drops:
PS Now is a streaming service, but you of course will continue to be able to download titles to PlayStation devices from the PlayStation Store. If your connection drops while using PS Now, we may temporarily and adaptively reduce your resolution to maintain a responsive experience.
Harper then added, “We are laser focused on the gaming experience and making it great no matter what title you are playing. In our internal test, PS Now has been proven to provide a low latency gaming experience.”
He continued by confirming that you’ll be able to unlock Trophies through PlayStation Now, with the games always being the most up-to-date versions:
The stream is instant – no downloading, no installing, no patching. You get the most up-to-date version of the game streaming to your device from our remote servers. You also get Trophies, Friends List, and other PSN features.
While there are four playable games at CES 2014, Harper says they haven’t confirmed titles that will be available, with Beyond, God War: Ascension, The Last of Us, and Puppeteer being used for tech demo purposes only. If they don’t launch with games you want though, “We will definitely be adding games to the service over time based upon the requests we get from our community.”
Update 2: If you decide to use PlayStation Now through a Bravia TV, “You will need a DualShock 3 and, of course, high-speed internet to play from the BRAVIA TV.” And if you were worried at all, “You will be able to play multiplayer games through PS Now.”
We’ll let you know of any more details about PlayStation Now as they arrive.