Those of you who don’t immediately catch fire the second you step outdoors may not yet have heard of PlayStation Now. Essentially the video game equivalent of Netflix, the service is due to be rolled out on July 31 and will, in theory, allow PlayStation 4 owners to pay to stream and play a selection of PlayStation 1, 2 and 3 games without having to download them first, with all the processing being done in the cloud.

But Sony is not content with going after just existing PlayStation owners, oh no. As promised at the beginning of the year, the company is now starting beta trials of the game rental service for certain high-end Sony TVs. That’s right, even if you don’t own an actual PlayStation console you’ll soon be able to play PlayStation games.

You will of course require a PlayStation controller, but by the end of this year, owners of newer models of Sony TV in the US will be able to stream and play PlayStation games, sans console.

In a press release issued earlier today, the tech and media giant revealed that trials of PlayStation Now for Sony 4K and 1080p TVs will begin at the end of this month.

Here’s Sony:

“Starting June 30, you’ll get a first glimpse at the upcoming PlayStation Now game streaming service with the launch of the Private Pilot Service. PlayStation Now allows you to play select PS3 games directly on your Sony TV, with no console required.  It will begin in the continental US on select 2014 Sony TV models, including all our 4KTVs as well as some of our 1080p HDTVs. At the start of the Private Pilot Service, a selection of PS3 game titles covering a wide range of genres will be available for individual rental. “

Sounds pretty cool, right? Even if he’s unable to convince his folks to buy him an actual games console, there’s a good chance Jimmy Consumer’s parents will be prepared to let him rent a game or two from time to time, and non-console owners may also be tempted by some of the titles on offer, so PlayStation Now could well prove to be an extremely lucrative service for Sony.

▼ Sony also plans to bring PlayStation Now to tablets and smartphones in the future

11821943365_d88eb7ca04_zPlayStation Blog

Whether it will all work as it’s supposed to is another matter altogether, however.

Even with ultra-fast fibre optic internet connections, a number of PlayStation 4 owners currently trialling PlayStation Now have remarked that the service is still somewhat unstable, and that even with wired connections the experience can be laggy and thus noticeably inferior to playing a downloaded or physical copy of the same game. Pricing, too, will be major hurdle for Sony to overcome, with current listings (which are admittedly still subject to change) hinting that renting a game may in some cases even prove more costly than buying it outright.

Nevertheless, the service does hint at a number of possibilities for the future, and it’s exciting to see Sony trying something new. Who knows, maybe one day in the not-too-distant future we’ll be able to do away with the boxes beneath our TVs entirely and play whatever we want, when we want via the cloud. Well, provided our internet service providers haven’t upped their prices and started charging companies extra to access their “fast lanes” by then…

Source: Sony Blog via IGN
Feature image: Sony Blog