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PS Now revealed: Sony service streams PS3 games across devices

Bold new service opens world of opportunities for tablets, smart TVs, PS4 and PS Vita

Sony has revealed PlayStation Now, an online network that streams a range of PS3 and PS2 games across numerous devices such as tablets and TVs.

PlayStation chief executive Andrew House revealed the service on Tuesday, during an on-stage appearance at CES in Las Vegas. He claimed that, for the first time, flagship PS3 titles such as The Last of Us and Beyond will be playable on tablets, Bravia TVs, PS Vitas and PS4s.

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The service will launch in the US over the summer, with a beta trial coming in January. Plans for Europe have not yet been discussed, though PlayStation UK has told CVG that EU dates will be announced when possible.

Customers can either purchase a game to stream individually, or pay for full library access via a subscription fee. Multiplayer, and other network services such as trophies, will also be included. How much a PS Now subscription will cost is unclear.

PS Now is expected to utilise the network capabilities of Gaikai, a cloud gaming service which Sony acquired in 2012 for $380 million.

Devices supporting the streaming service include the Sony Xperia tablet, the PS Vita, Bravia TVs and the PS4. How these games will be controlled, and where the DualShock pad fits in, is not clear (though the controller can communicate to numerous devices via bluetooth).

It also means that PS3 games will be playable on PlayStation 4, bypassing the coding problems which have prevented the system becoming natively backwards compatible. Game streams can be paused on one device and resumed on others, Sony said.

"The accessibility of PS Now means, for example, that PS4 users in the living room can continue playing a game on a PS3 system in their bedroom," the company claimed.

"Or PS Vita users can enjoy instant access to a game wherever there's Wi-Fi connectivity, such as outdoors, then can switch to a supporting Bravia TV's big screen and play the same game after arriving home."

Eventually, the corporation says, PS Now will support a number of internet-enabled devices not manufactured by Sony.

"We are thrilled to deliver entertainment experiences only possible from PlayStation through our new streaming game service,"said House.

"PS Now will allow users to engage in the world of PlayStation, whether they're existing fans or have never owned a PlayStation platform."

Live demonstrations of the service are underway at the Consumer Electronics Show, with attendees offered the chance to play Beyond, God of War Ascension, The Last of Us and Puppeteer on Vitas and Bravia TVs.

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