Sony Goes All-In On Cloud Content With “PlayStation Now” And A Cloud-Based VOD TV Service

The cloud has covered Sony in a big way: at CES today the company announced a pair of new services that will bring a new wave of cloud-based content to use across its range of devices. PlayStation Now will be a new network for cloud-based games, and a new video service will deliver both live and on-demand video.

The move points to how Sony is focusing on a more consolidated and converged product and services vision.

PlayStation Now is the new name that Sony is giving to a service based on Gaikai, the cloud-based gaming service that it acquired in 2012 for $380 million. Andrew House, the president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, says that it will effectively be a route for bringing legacy PS3 and PS2 games to Vita, smartphones, tablets and Bravia TV sets. “Playing your favorite PS3 game on your television will become a reality,” he said. The service will be starting in beta at the end of January with a full rollout coming this summer.

The second cloud-based entertainment service House announced today is Sony’s move into a new cloud-based TV service. House says that this will bring both live and VOD content — a long-rumored product, now finally appearing a reality. He provided very little detail on the specifics of the service — we are reaching out to Sony to find out more. For now, we know that it will be live later this year.

Sony’s move into cloud-based content is not early but still essential: it has some 70 million devices in use in the U.S. alone, it has some 70 million devices in use in the U.S. alone, House noted today, with some 25 million of them PlayStation3 players — where it is the most popular console for streaming TV services already. Netflix is a major content provider on that platform today, and so it’s unsurprising to see Sony — itself a big content creator — moving in earnest to offer more content directly to compete against the likes of these OTT players as well as other console makers like Microsoft.