The International CES 2014 keynote offered by SONY President and CEO Kazuo Hirai included a couple of items of interest to gamers and video viewers, one of which opens PlayStation games to a wider audience and the other which will potentially ease the ability of viewers to cut the cord and get live and on-demand TV without cable or antenna.
First, the PlayStation Now network: After announcing the magic number of 4.2 million PlayStation 4 units sold as of December 28th, Sony Network Entertainment and Sony Computer Entertainment’s Andrew House announced PlayStation Now, which he described as opening the library of old and new PlayStation games to a wide range of devices, not only PS3 and PS4 consoles but mobile devices and tablets as well. “Soon, playing your favorite PlayStation games on your tablet will be a reality,” he said, citing a demonstration of The Last of Us being offered on the PS Vita at Sony’s CES booth during the show and adding that the system will be in closed beta in January and available generally this Summer. We knew that they were working on something like this for the PS4 and the Vita, but including other devices (and the PS3, for that matter) was a new wrinkle. There wasn’t any word on how the network would handle latency — coffee shop WiFi probably won’t cut it — but we’ll see soon enough.
The other announcement involved the Sony Entertainment Network offering a cloud-based television service that will not only include on-demand streaming but also live TV content. He didn’t say which live content that will be other than to say that it will offer “the most popular” live TV shows; the hurdles to offering the most popular cable networks are high due to exclusivity and cable operators’ likely opposition, and the problem with carrying the broadcast stations and networks can be summed up in the word Aereo. The system will also be personalized, with different users being able to access personal menus with recommendations; he used the phrase “ease of content access,” and since that’s been one of the problems with existing subscription video on demand — finding stuff — it’ll be interesting to see what that’ll entail.
So, gamers, does the idea of getting access to PlayStation titles on non-PlayStation devices get you excited? If this means you don’t need a PS 4 to access PlayStation titles, would that affect which console you buy (or whether you’d buy one at all)? And would you pay for a cable service over the Internet that doesn’t require cable, if that’s indeed what Sony is intending to offer? Comment below.