updated 09:15 pm EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Game streaming service sees first expansion into television market, still in beta
Television owners feeling left out of the PlayStation Now beta program no longer need to be, as long as they own one of a select number of Sony televisions. The electronics manufacturer announced that on June 30, the PlayStation 3 game streaming service will come to the company's 4K Ultra HD televisions, as well as a small number of 1080p Bravia units.
In the initial news from Sony, the company announced that the PlayStation Now service would be coming to all 4K televisions the company now offers. Instead of taking part of the private beta, Sony is labeling the TV experiences as the "Private Pilot Service." A small selection of PlayStation 3 titles will be available for rental, following the pricing structure that Sony laid out early this month. The program is only available in the continental United States.
According to Sony's website, it currently offers a dozen 4K Ultra HD televisions. Pricing runs from a 48.5-inch television for $2,000 to an 84.6-inch set priced at a whopping $25,000. The PlayStation Now FAQ indicates that most 2014 Bravia televisions are supported. Models from the XBR-X950B, XBR-X900B, XBR-X800B, KDL-W950B, KDL-W850B, KDL-W800B, KDL-W700B and KDL-W600B series are compatible. The only remaining hardware to obtain would be a DualShock 3 controller and USB cable.
PlayStation Now offers users a chance to play PlayStation 3 games without the need for a dedicated console. The Gaikai-powered service streams games to a device, allowing players to rent a game instead of purchasing it. Currently, pricing for the rental ranges from $3 to $20 depending on the game and time frame. Rental times start at as little as four hours, but extend up to 90 days. Several outlets have lambasted the costs, stating that the price is often greater than simply buying a copy of the game.
Sony announced the inclusion of the PlayStation 4 into the private PlayStation Now beta during the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Previously, only the PlayStation 3 was part of the program. With the expansion into televisions, the PlayStation Vita is the only platform yet to be included in beta testing. Open beta for the program starts July 31.