Sony's Gaikai-based video game streaming service, PlayStation Now, will stream PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 games over the internet to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, as well as non-PlayStation devices, Sony executive Andrew House announced during the company's CES 2014 keynote today.
PlayStation Now gives people "instant access to the games they loved from previous generations," said House, the president and group chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment. Users will be able to rent individual games or pay for subscription plans. In addition to PlayStation devices, the service will be available on most of Sony's 2014 Bravia televisions, and eventually, devices such as smartphones.
PlayStation Now will initially be available on PS4 and PS3, and later on PS Vita, according to a press release from Sony. The service will support functionality such as multiplayer gaming and PlayStation Network messages and Trophies.
Sony will launch a closed beta of PlayStation Now on PS3 at the end of this month, and the company expects to begin a full rollout this summer. The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls, God of War: Ascension and Puppeteer are playable on PS Vitas and Bravia HDTVs to CES attendees.
Sony acquired streaming service Gaikai in July 2012 for $380 million, and the company announced during the PlayStation 4 reveal event last February that it would use Gaikai to stream games to PlayStation 4 owners. At E3 2013, Sony said the Gaikai-based streaming service would be available in 2014. Gaikai was originally developed to stream Windows PC games to computers and televisions. The service works by running a game on a server in the cloud, processing inputs from players and providing a video stream of the game to users.
Update: Asked whether PlayStation Now will be included within PlayStation Plus, a Sony representative told Polygon, "We have nothing to announce at this point in time."