Soon, you'll be able to play top-shelf PS3 games like The Last of Us on tablets and smartphones, thanks to Sony's newly-announced PlayStation Now streaming service.
Announced today at the company's CES keynote, PlayStation Now will let users access Sony's catalog of games on any device that connects to the service. PlayStation Now builds on the 2012 acquisition of the Gaikai game streaming service. Sony exec Andrew House told the CES audience that The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls would be among the first games on the service, which will also offer a subscription-based plan. A closed beta for PlayStation Now would be starting in January, with a planned roll-out happening this summer.
Previous discussions about the PlayStation game streaming service have mentioned that plans are to make the back-catalogs from the PS1 and PS2 eras available along with offerings that debuted on the PS3. A recent patent suggests that Sony may be planning to add trophies to these older titles, too.
Update: Here are the relevant parts from the press release Sony just issued.
In addition to PlayStation platforms, most 2014 U.S. models of Sony's BRAVIA® TV*2 lineup will support PS Now. Eventually the service will expand beyond PlayStation platforms and Sony devices, allowing users to stream PlayStation games on numerous other Internet-connected devices.
SCE's vision for PS Now is to enable users to instantly enjoy a wide range of full games on the Internet-connected consumer electronics devices they use every day. The accessibility of PS Now means, for example, that PS4 users in the living room can continue playing a game on a PS3 system in their bedroom. Or PS Vita users can enjoy instant access to a game wherever there's Wi-Fi connectivity, such as outdoors, then can switch to a supporting BRAVIA® TV's big screen and play the same game after arriving home.
PS Now will offer choice to gamers with how they want to access content. Gamers can rent by title for specific games they are interested in, or they can choose a subscription that delivers additional value with the ability to explore and play many games available across a wide variety of genres. In addition, the service will support many popular PSNSM features such as online multi-player, Trophies, and messages.
"We are thrilled to deliver entertainment experiences only possible from PlayStation through our new streaming game service," said Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. "PS Now will allow users to engage in the world of PlayStation, whether they're existing fans or have never owned a PlayStation platform."
During the 2014 International CES held in Las Vegas from January 7, attendees can visit the Sony booth to have a hands-on experience with the PS Now service for the first time ever. Attendees can enjoy four blockbuster PS3 titles, BEYOND: Two Souls, God of War: Ascension, The Last of Us and Puppeteer from SCE Worldwide Studios, on PS Vita or BRAVIA® TV.
Prior to the official launch, SCE will begin a beta program on PS3 systems in certain regions of the United States from the end of January. Additional information about PS Now will be available at http://us.playstation.com/playstationnow.