PlayStation Now is Sony’s premium upcoming gaming service where you can stream video games onto many different Sony devices. Whether you have a PS4, Vita, PlayStation TV (aka PS Vita TV), specific Sony Bravia TV, Sony tablet or phone, you may soon have the chance to play games streaming over the internet.[youtube http://youtu.be/t5003E3hsBE]
I admit, I have been a skeptic of this service since its announcement in 2013. Considering the limitations of the internet infrastructure, especially in North America, how well could this service really work? No doubt, many of you have wondered the same thing. However, I have to say, after getting some hands-on time with the service at E3 2014 and in the beta at home, my mind has been changed.
On the E3 show floor, PlayStation had a section devoted to PlayStation Now with PS4’s, a Sony TV, PlayStation TV’s, and PlayStation Vitas set up connected to the service. Being demoed were five games not currently included in the PS Now closed beta. The games were as follows:
- Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus
- Dead Space 3
- Ultra Street Fighter IV
- God of War: Ascension
- Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
I was able to try out Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus and Ultra Street Fighter IV on the show floor and was surprised with both. First up was Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus. I first tried out the game on the PlayStation Vita which had me a little worried because it has to be connected wirelessly. To my surprise, the game worked very well with some noticeable but very little latency. The resolution was also good. While it didn’t look as good as the Blu-ray disc version on the PS3, it still looked good on the PlayStation Vita’s screen. Shooting, platforming, etc. all seemed to work well and the latency didn’t cause the game to be inaccurate when it came down to those very time sensitive actions.
Moving over to the PlayStation 4, I decided to play Ultra Street Fighter IV, because timing is everything in fighters. First thing that stood out was how great the game looked, near Blu-ray and very smooth high resolutions. When getting into a single player arcade match, I tested out each action to see how responsive the game was. Each kick, punch, block, jump and movement was almost 1:1 with the regular copy of the game. Extremely low, barely noticeable latency was present. I was so impressed that I had to ask how fast the network connection was that the PS4 was hooked up to. Unfortunately, none of the reps around had an answer for that, although they suggested that a 5 mbs down stream, wired, is a minimum requirement for the service.
Needless to say, I was very impressed. What impressed me even more was the Sony TV that was set up with the service. There was no console, just an internet ready TV with Bluetooth capabilities, and some Dualshock 3 controllers. Although I didn’t play, some other individuals were on that demo station playing Ultra Street Fighter IV competitively and they had a blast. From my perspective, I could have easily been fooled into thinking a console was hooked up to it with the game. After the other attendees finished playing, I made sure to get their impressions and they too were impressed with the responsiveness of the controls and the fact that this was only a TV.
On the following day, I tried out the PlayStation TV setup with the PlayStation Now service streaming. Again, I had a similar experience like the day prior. However this time, the resolution of the games were a little lower. I’m not sure what contributed to this, but obviously the service is completely dependent upon the network connection.
Still, I was a little skeptical. I thought, “well, maybe Sony has a special network setup here to make the presentation look this good at the show.” So, coming home after E3 2014, I decided to boot up my PlayStation 4 to try out the beta at home myself. I figured maybe it wouldn’t be the best comparison because my PS4 is halfway on the other side of the house, wireless, nowhere near the router for me to hardwire it to. So I expected the worst and hoped for the best, but was pleasantly surprised. Even on my connection which just meets the 5 mbs download requirement and is wireless, the service worked really, really well. Although it did take about a 30 seconds to a minute to boot up each game, the service worked great thereafter.
I am thoroughly impressed with PlayStation Now and if Sony prices it right, it could be a huge step forward for not only Sony but gaming in general.
If you didn’t get a chance to play the PlayStation Now demo at E3 or you haven’t been invited to the closed beta, don’t worry. You’ll have a chance to check it out when the service goes to open beta on PlayStation 4 on July 31, 2014. But maybe you don’t want to wait that long. That’s fine, because I have a set of six codes that I’ll be giving away! How do you win? It’s simple! In fact, you’ll have four chances to win! Here’s how:
- On Twitter – Follow @GamerXChange and tweet: “I want to win a @PlayStation Now PS4 beta code from @GamerXChange! http://gamerxchange.net/2014/06/13/playstation-now-hands-preview/”
- On Twitter – Follow @_SimplyG and tweet: “I want to win a @PlayStation Now PS4 beta code from @_SimplyG! http://gamerxchange.net/2014/06/13/playstation-now-hands-preview/”
- In the comments below, just comment on the article and include, “I want to win a PS Now Beta code!” Make sure a valid email address is used so you can get the code.
This giveaway is for PlayStation Now codes that will only work on valid North American PSN accounts on PS4. Winners will be picked on Monday June 16, 2014 and notified that week.