With just days to spare before its self-imposed deadline Sony seems to be kicking off beta testing for PlayStation Now, the online game streaming service that it plans to bring to televisions and phones sometime later this year. Unfortunately, it appears not just anyone will get the opportunity to test PlayStation Now just yet.
That’s if the PlayStation Now invite posted to gaming forum Neogaf is genuine. According to that invite, the upcoming streaming service isn’t entering a public beta as previously thought but a private beta. In order to get into that private beta users will need a customized invite sent to them by Sony. In short: not just anyone can try PlayStation Now for the time being.
There are also a few catches for users who manage to get invites. Sony’s invitation says that users will want to connect their PS3 to a wired internet connection for “the best experience.” While that certainly doesn’t require users to purchase extra hardware – the PS3 included a rear-facing Ethernet port – some users will have to rearrange their home entertainment equipment had they been using the console’s wireless capabilities previously.
Hopefully, Sony can find a way to allow users to play streaming games on PlayStation Now using the console’s wireless connection and still get a first class experience before the service’s launch.
The second catch is that PlayStation Now beta testers will also need a broadband internet connection that’s capable of transmitting 5Mbps second. That shouldn’t be a problem for most users since the average broadband speed in the United States is around 7.4 Mbps, according to Akami. Users in rural areas might have a hard time meeting that speed requirement.
Announced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, PlayStation Now allows users to stream PS3 games from Sony’s servers to their devices locally. At the time Sony said that it had plans to introduce PlayStation Now to PS4, PS Vita, Sony Bravia televisions, tablets and smartphones. If Sony can scale PS Now users could have the option to play their games wherever they are – provided that they have a compatible device, PlayStation DualShock controller and a decent internet connection.
Sony hasn’t announced pricing for the PS Now. It does have plans to roll out PlayStation Now in the United States by the end of the year.