Review Price to be confirmed

Key Features: Stream PS3 games; Subscription and rental service; Resume games on other devices; Runs on Gaikai cloud platform

Manufacturer: Sony

What is PlayStation Now?

PlayStation Now is Sony’s cloud-based streaming gaming service that solves the PS4 backwards compatibility issue bringing PS3 games to the PS Vita, select Sony Bravia TVs and non-PlayStation devices like tablets and smartphones.

Set to launch in the US first in the summer, Sony has yet to announce when PS4 owners in the UK can expect to get access to PlayStation Now, which will be available as a rental or subscription service. But it was up and running at CES 2014, so we had a go to see what it's like.

Working in a very similar way to cloud gaming service OnLive minus the small box, PlayStation Now will stream games through the Gaikai cloud gaming platform. According to PlayStation representatives demonstrating the service it will require a 5Mbps broadband connection at the very least to keep things running smoothly.

It's worth noting that PlayStation Now is not included as part of PlayStation Plus service so you will have to pay extra for the privilege of playing and resuming PS3 games across compatible devices.

Sony is focusing on bringing a library of PS3 games to Now but has yet to say how big this catalogue will be when it launches. We’d love to think games from the original PlayStation and PlayStation 2 could be added and is something Sony is not entirely ruling out. On the showfloor, The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls, Puppeteer and God of War: Ascension were running on one of Sony’s 2014 range of Bravia TVs and a PS Vita so it looks like we can expect popular titles from Sony's last generation console to appear.

First impressions

We didn't get to see the PlayStation Now user interface jumping straight into playing The Last of Us on the PS Vita and God of War Ascension on the Bravia TV with a DualShock 3 controller. Like PS4 Remote Play, the PS Vita maps additional buttons to the controls on the back of the Sony handheld. Both showed little signs of latency or lag and played as well as they do on the PS3. Playing it on a showfloor at CES is of course going to be a very different prospect running it on a home broadband connection so it will be interesting to see how it copes in a 'normal' environment.

Right from the start, Sony has been hammering home the message that its next-gen console is for the gamers and PlayStation Now has the potential to be another great new feature to wave under the noses of Xbox One owners. Having a good enough internet connection is going to be vital though and we are a little disappointed that it wont be included as part of PlayStation Plus. If you are really missing playing your favourite PS3 games, PlayStation Now sounds like it is going to be a great way to make it a reality.

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