Hands-On Preview: PlayStation Now
Playstation Now, PS4, Sony, E3 2014, Ultimate Street Fighter 4, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Rachet & Clank: Into the Nexus, Dead Space 3, God of War: Ascension, PS3
While down on the E3 show floor, I went and tried out PlayStation Now. For those of you who don’t know: PlayStation Now will be Sony’s video game streaming service that will allow gamers to play titles from across the various PlayStation consoles. I tried PlayStation Now on Sony’s Bravia TV — the model that will be out later this year.
There were five PlayStation 3 games available to play on a PlayStation 4: Ultra Street Fighter IV, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, God of War: Ascension, Dead Space 3 and Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus. I tried out each one and specifically looked to see how much latency there was while playing. I’ve played all but one of these games so if there was any sort of delay I’d know it.
I’ll come out and get it out the way: there was no noticeable latency. The games played exactly as they should. I played Ultra Street Fighter IV first on purpose because since it’s a fighter, latency would affect it more than the others. I played a one-on-one match with a friend and we both agreed that things worked great. All of the other titles performed flawlessly as well.
The only drawback was with the visual fedelity. There was noticeable pixelation on screen. Sometimes it wouldn’t be an issue and other times it caused the graphics to appear murky. The one that suffered the most from this was Dead Space 3. There were certain points where I thought I was looking at the iPad version of the game. That was the exception, and the pixelization on the rest of the games wasn’t that bad.
Graphical issues stem from one’s own connection speeds. It’s recommended that a person have a 5mbps download connection but the service can support 12mbps. If the connection speed drops then there will be a dip in graphics as well. The connection in the convention center wasn’t the most reliable so it was good to see that even when the graphics in whatever game I was playing dropped that latency didn’t rear its ugly head.
I asked about how game saves work. All of your games will be saved to the cloud. If you ever decide to buy the game, either digitally or physically, the saves will work. If you ever own a digital or physical copy and sell them, you can stream the game from PS Now and pick up where you left off. This is a good feature which assures that gamers won’t have to start their games from scratch.
This beast is set to launch in the fall after extensive beta tests. There’s a lot of kinks to work out so it’s best to run things through the ringer as much as possible. If this service works as well as it did with me then it should be a very cool way for people to play a lot of games without having to own them. They won’t talk pricing but when we find something out we’ll let you guys know.