Sony has launched the Open Beta phase of PlayStation Now in the US and Canada, its game streaming service that offers access to classic PS3 games through a PS4 for rental fees. And although we're not expected to get the service in the UK or Europe until sometime in 2015, we can at least watch an official walkthrough longingly.
The PlayStation Blog team has put together a video walkthrough of the service's user interface, the sorts of games it offers and an overview of the features and benefits of PlayStation Now. One word of warning though, if you're allergic to cheese, you might want to take an antihistamine before you hit play.
PlayStation Now is effectively Sony's answer to OnLive. It gives access to a games library of around 100 PS3 titles on launch that can be played through a PS4.
Instead of games being available for download, PlayStation Now streams video over the internet of the game playing on a dedicated server in the cloud. Your controller controls the action on screen, through the connection, but you are effectively just watching a video stream. Therefore, it doesn't need the power of a games console to use - one of the reasons Sony plans to widen its access to a wide variety of TVs, AV devices, smartphones and more.
Prices seem steep when compared to OnLive though. With the Beta launch, Sony charges from $1.99 for four hours play of a specific title (some are $2.99) up to $14.99 for 90 days access. There is currently no subscription model, which would charge a single monthly price for access to a whole suite of games. At present, it's more like renting a movie through Video Unlimited.
Sony also advises that customers have a minimum of 5Gbps broadband and a wired connection to and from the primary device.
It's early days - this is an Open Beta period after all - but is still an interesting glimpse into a possible future for gaming.