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PlayStation cloud gaming service to launch in 2014

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Sony has confirmed that its cloud gaming service will be launched in 2014, after the 'Holiday 2013' launch of the PS4.

The company has made the rather vague announcement that the online service "will be available in 2014 beginning in the United States." There was no mention of when the UK and Europe would get access to it.

PlayStation cloud gaming will allow owners of the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, followed at a later date by PlayStation Vita, to stream classic PS3 games over the internet.

This is seen as an innovative way to address the lack of backwards compatibility in the PS4, which will be unable to accept PS3 discs when it launches at the end of the year.

The cloud gaming service itself is based on technology acquired when Sony purchased Gakai in July 2012. Prior to its purchase, Gaikai allowed full PC games to be played on PCs, tablets, and smart TVs through a web browser. All the heavy computation is handled server-side.

This clarification comes following a largely positive PlayStation 4 reveal from Sony at this year's E3 show. During the event Sony finally revealed the PS4's hardware design - a slanted, seamed black box.

More importantly, Sony used its event to severely undermine the controversial Xbox One with a price point that's £80 lower than its main rival. In addition, Sony pointedly revealed that it would place no restrictions on second hand game sales or require an arbitrary internet connection to play single player games.

Read: Xbox One first impressions: what we think

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