One of the best features of gaming that was more or less abandoned during the last generation of consoles was backwards compatibility. With the last few generations old disc games couldn’t be played by their newer counterparts. While early versions of the Wii and PS3 were backwards compatible, their newer models weren’t. The Xbox 360 wasn’t able to play Xbox games at all. While the Wii U is backwards compatible with Wii games, both Sony and Microsoft have struggled to find ways to implement backwards compatibility for their new consoles. The current generation’s backwards compatibility for the PS3 and X1 wouldn’t be the easiest thing to implement. Sony’s PS4 infrastructure is so different than the PS3’s and the X1 now uses Blu-ray discs not HD DVDs. However there is good news. Sony and Microsoft want to figure out ways to bring past games, not just PS3/360 games but all past games to their new consoles. While Microsoft has yet to reveal plans about their use of the cloud to steam games, Sony announced “Playstation Now” at this year’s CES in Las Vegas.
Playstation Now is an online subscription game service coming to the PS4, PS3 and PSV. Yes, all three devices, not just the PS4 will be getting the service. The service is planned to go further than that, with plans to be implemented on other internet connected devices. PS Now is a streaming service meaning there will be no purchasing, however it will be possible to rent these games. As of right now it is not clear wither this subscription service will be tethered to PS+ or be a completely stand alone service. If I were to take a ball park guess, the most likely scenario to me is an additional PS+ membership option including the streaming service and the subscription as a stand alone service. The price point is is tricky. I want to say it will be somewhere in the range of Netflix and Hulu Plus around 10 USD/AUD/EUR a month. More information should be available sooner rather than later, we’ll keep you posted.