Sony’s answer to the lack of backwards compatibility in some models of the PS3 and all models of the PS4 was solved when they acquired streaming service Gaikai, and developed PlayStation Now, which is currently in beta. Leaks from the beta have been coming out, and one of the big ones is that if your PlayStation Now device is hooked up to your network via WiFi, you can’t have PlayStation Now, so if you do not have a wired connection, you don’t play with PlayStation Now.
Right as you load up the program it mentions this, so Sony isn’t hiding this fact, but, for a service that is supposed to run on a ton of devices and not just a PS3 or PS4, I believe this is a major problem that Sony is going to have to look into solving soon. I don’t know about you, but my TV, my PlayStation Vita, etc are not hooked up to a wired internet connection within my home.
For those of you who are wired up and ready to go, when PlayStation Now launches, the pricing structure has leaked as well during the beta, with prices for a “rental” that are marked as low as $2.99 for 4 hours (though most of the 4 hour rentals are clocking in around $4.99) all the way up to $29.99 for 90 days. As Sony has previously mentioned, prices will be set by the publisher, so you can expect a wide variety of pricing models for different games.
I have to question the pricing model, for a game you are renting that is coming in at more than you can pay to buy at retail (for example, in the PS Store you can buy Final Fantasy XIII-2 for $20, or rent it on PS Now for 90 days for $30. I believe these prices are coming in at a premium because you can then take this rental and play it across multiple devices, and also play it on non-gaming hardware (speaking in terms of console gaming), such as phones, tablets, and Sony Bravia televisions, so it is clear a “convenience fee” has been added into the pricing.
PlayStation Now goes into open beta on July 31, 2014, and will probably launch fully in the fall (no release date set yet), bringing over 100 PS3 titles to the service, with PS1 and PS2 titles to follow, the question remains, will it be worth it?
UPDATE: Previous reports were indicating that PlayStation Now would not work unless the user had a wired connection, these reports have now been rebuffed, you can access PlayStation Now with a WiFi connection, however, if it is a subpar connection, it will not work well, which was to be expected with any streaming service.