[Update: 1/8/14] Sony is rolling out the beta test in late January and releasing it worldwide this Summer.
The PS Now cloud has been the subject of debate since its announcement yesterday at CES 2014. It was said to finally allow something that Microsoft frowned upon in the early days of the next gen console wars; backwards compatibility.
The infamous quote came from Microsoft's Head of Interactive Entertainment Business Don Mattrick, who said, "If you're backwards compatible, you're really backwards."
Score another point for Sony, because they found a way to make the PlayStation 4 backwards compatible while Microsoft refuses to try.
However, this also might mean that the PS4 will have adopted the "always on" idea that Microsoft was reprimanded for. That's how a cloud works in the field of technology. The cloud is a server-based hard drive used to store extra processes that would normally slow down the console itself, so the console has to be online to use it.
The PS Now cloud will take the online information and use it to provide a way to play games meant for PlayStation 3 and older Sony consoles on on your PS4. So what happens if your internet isn't reliable enough to stream God of War or InFamous? Hopefully Sony will allow us to check the network to be sure it's possible before we put money down on a game we can't play.
Otherwise some gamers might turn back to the PlayStation 3 to play older games, just like they did with the PS4 Blu Ray player, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.
Shuhei Yoshida has stated already that he and Sony know that broadband internet may be problematic and unreliable, and it's expected to be tested in a North America beta market this summer before it officially goes worldwide. As Sony pointed out early last year, they are listening.
Sony is providing the PS Now cloud using a service called Gaikai, which was reportedly meant to work like Steam, hosting video games ready for download and eliminating the physical disc altogether. This does indeed sound a lot like Microsoft's vision of "the future," being used by Sony with the added bonus of being able to play older games on PlayStation 4, PS3, and PS Vita.
Sony wouldn't tell me if PlayStation Now is part of PS Plus. Not an encouraging sign, and I'm betting separate sub. http://t.co/H4IzlK2RQoGamers are still wary about whether the service will actually work, discounting it before Sony has even had a chance to test it and work out as many glitches as possible. Look at Grand Theft Auto V, for example. Rockstar knew that the game would not be without its problems, being the biggest online console launch in history, and like Sony is now, they told us there would be problems.
— Patrick Klepek (@patrickklepek) January 7, 2014
Are you willing to look past the inevitable initial problems like we did with Grand Theft Auto V? Is Sony making a big mistake using something similar to Microsoft's initial idea to make the PS4 backwards compatible?
Sony is being cautious with the PS Now cloud service. Sony knows a lot can go wrong.