PlayStation Now Open Beta Launches Today

By Pete Haas 2014-07-31 12:40:52 discussion comments
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PlayStation Now's private beta is coming to an end. Starting today, any interested PS4 owner in the United States and Canada will be able to try out the service for themselves.

With PlayStation Now, gamers can stream select PS3 games to their PS4. It's Sony's solution to the PS4's current lack of backwards compatibility. The open beta will allow testers to rent over 100 titles. More will be added over time. The price depends on how long you rent the game and also apparently on what game you're renting. Here's a sample price list, from Darksiders:
  • 4 Hours - $2.99
  • 7 Days - $5.99
  • 30 Days - $7.99
  • 90 Days - $14.99
Sony says that the streamed PS3 games will be comparable in quality to the disc-based or downloaded versions. Performance is determined by how stable your Internet connection is, though.

PlayStation Now titles include all of the features you expect from present-day releases, such as cloud game saves, leaderboards and Trophies. It also supports online multiplayer with both fellow PS Now users along with people who actually own the games.



"Since we’re still in Beta, and in the very early days of PS Now, we plan to continue to collect feedback during this Open Beta phase to make further refinements to the service, so please provide us feedback once you’ve experienced the service," said PlayStation Now senior director Jack Buser on the PlayStation Blog.

The closed PS4 beta for PlayStation Now started in May. Buser said this test is resulting in some important changes for the service and its business model.

"You will immediately see a clear breakdown of what’s included with game rentals, so it’s easier to tell what content you’re getting with your rental, especially since several games offered through PS Now include DLC that increase the value of the offering. Also, in a few weeks, you will start seeing reduced pricing on some 4-hour rentals which will appear at $1.99."

Many testers expressed disappointment with the idea of renting individual games. Like me, they expected PlayStation Now to be a monthly subscription service that lets you access every game in its library. Buser said that they're currently working on a subscription option, though he couldn't share any further details.

Though PlayStation Now's open beta is limited to the PS4 at the moment, the service will come to other devices in the future. Sony intends to release PS Now on PS3, PS Vita, PlayStation TV and select Sony televisions.

It's unclear whether PlayStation Now's library will expand beyond PS3 games. In a recent interview, Buser didn't indicate whether that's still the case.

"During the open beta launch on PlayStation 4 we'll be focusing on PlayStation 3 titles," Buser told Kotaku. "We don't have anything specific to announce at this time."
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