updated 12:21 am EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
Hardware coming to North America, Playstation Now contains big name titles
Looking to be the first of the big three console manufacturers to make a hardware announcement during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Sony made a few modest announcements for the future. The company said that it would be bringing the PlayStation TV to North America this fall for $100. Sony also have some new details on the PlayStation Now service, which will be hitting open beta on a select devices in July.
The PlayStation TV is the biggest hardware announcement to come from the company during E3. President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America Shawn Layden gave the details on the mini-console release, and what it is capable of. The console had previously been released in Japan during the Tokyo Game Show in 2013. Sony had originally said that the box would not be available in the United States and Europe, but was later said to be considering expanding its availability.
The PlayStation TV will allow users to stream Vita games or content from PlayStation Now to the handheld to a TV. Layden said that it could play most Vita titles. A deal with Disney will allow Disney Infinity 2 to be played on both the PlayStation TV and the Vita. In addition to playing Vita games, Layden added that the unit would allow a PlayStation 4 to be played on another television in the home. Sony will offer a special bundle for the PlayStation TV when it releases, priced at $140. On top of the box itself, the bundle will include a Dual Shock 3 controller, HDMI cable, an 8GB memory card and a copy of the Lego Movie game.
On top of the PlayStation TV, Sony announced that PlayStation Now would be heading into an open beta for the PlayStation 4 on July 31. Shortly after, the beta will extend to PlayStation 3 and the Vita. Closed beta is currently ongoing for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 on a limited basis in the US. Layden also reminded the audience that PlayStation Now would be coming to select Sony televisions. People would only need to buy a Dual Shock 3 controller to take advantage of it when it goes live.
Layden said that over 100 games would be coming to the service, including Dead Space 3, God of War: Ascension, Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes, Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus and Ultra Street Fighter IV. Sony will be working with a number of publishers and partners to determine the rental price and duration of the rentals.
YouTube's integration into the share button on the PlayStation 4 was also brought up, adding another way for game footage to be shared with friends. By pressing the share button, footage will be automatically added to a user's YouTube account. Users will be able to see videos from their friends in the feed. During the presentation it was said that the share button had been hit over 220 million times, with 150 million share sessions. The YouTube feature will be added later in the year.
A smaller feature being added is a way for PlayStation 4 users to interact with streams that they are watching. Streamers will be able to hear those watching them, for better or worse. "You can help them, or you can hurt them," said Layden.
Perhaps the most anticipated piece of hardware from Sony only received brief attention during the press briefing. Sony President and Group CEO Andrew House started off talking about the PlayStation camera, saying it had exceeded expectations as the audience laughed. However, he said that the virtual reality hardware Project Morpheus came from the technology as its next iteration. No new news was mentioned about it, but two new demos were on said to be on the show floor.