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Game Streaming from the Cloud with Playstation Now

Posted by QuoteColo on June 02, 2014 - Updated on May 28, 2014

Cloud ComputingOver the past several years, the idea of storing and pulling information from cloud servers has been the talk of the town. Businesses and individuals have been using the cloud for a variety of different purposes, from hosting their sites to streaming and downloading movies, music, and more. As the technology becomes more and more powerful, new uses emerge. One of those newer uses that will be hitting Sony gaming systems and some televisions later this year is Playstation Now, and online cloud gaming service that promises to be very popular.

In early 2014, Sony announced that they would be bringing this service that would allow streaming of PlayStation games to their newest piece of hardware, the Playstation 4. However, in a move that surprised many, they also said that the service would actually allow streaming of games to their older system, the Playstation 3, as well as the Playstation Vita, tablets, smartphones, and televisions. Their aim, it seems, is to have the PS games on as many devices as possible.

The Evolution of Gaikai

In 2012, Sony bought the cloud gaming technology Gaikai, which raised eyebrows. Cloud computing, though it was catching on in popularity at the time, was not as commonplace as it is today, just a couple of years later. However, when the company showed off the latest iteration of their technology at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas this year, it was able to work quite well, surprising many with just how fluid it worked and how it did not suffer from input lag, as many thought it might.

Input lag is the delay from the time that you press a button on your controller to the time that the action takes place on the screen. The service seems to be very fast and responsive though with little to no noticeable lag, which should be good for single player, and possibly even multiplayer games that the user streams.

The actual details surrounding how the cloud gaming system will work for users is still unknown, at least in terms of price, even though the launch date should be sometime this summer. Sony has only said that gamers will be able to rent games or pay a subscription service to have a wide range of games from which they can stream. They’ve already launched a beta service for Playstation 3 and are gearing up for the PS4 beta. They plan to have the entire system in place and operational by the end of the summer, but that likely depends on the results of the beta and any tweaks the developers find they need to make.

How Does Gaikai Work?

The reason that the system will be able to allow gamers to play on nearly any device is because there is no need to run the game locally – no downloads needed. Instead, servers in remote data centers will run the game and then stream the compressed video to your devices, whether it is a Playstation system, a tablet, or a television. When you press a button on the controller, it controls your instance of the game on the server.

Just how well this works when released to the masses remains to be seen, but it is very exciting for gamers, and it could eventually mean better options for cloud streaming for business needs, such as streaming and interacting with software.

Categories: Cloud

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