If you happen to be unlucky enough to reside in Europe, you may as well rename Sony’s cloud streaming service PlayStation Now to PlayStation Next Year. As executives have already indicated, the online platform is still some way off in Europe – and a leaked roadmap uncovered by Eurogamer.net suggests that we won’t be testing the service until 2015.
The timeline shows that the innovative technology has been in internal beta since the end of last year, with an open test set to deploy in North America towards the tail end of this month. The company intends to roll out the on-demand experience to PlayStation platforms in the United States this summer, before adding support for smartphones, televisions, and “partner devices” in the Fall.
Most interesting, however, is that the platform holder plans to expand the service to Japan and Korea towards the end of 2014, before turning its attention to Europe early next year. Previously, SCEE president Jim Ryan simply pointed out that there are a “number of bumps along the road that need to be ironed out” before it can deploy on these shores.
While it’s still a long way off, it’s reassuring to know that the organisation does have a roadmap in mind. Even more intriguing is Digital Foundry’s report on the hardware used to power the service, which consists of a meaty motherboard packing the equivalent of eight custom PlayStation 3 consoles into a relatively small space.
The publication predicts that the custom design has been constructed in order to lower latency, which is undeniably the single greatest challenge facing Sony’s new subscription-based offering. In an article that gets incredibly complex, it hypothesises that the Japanese giant may be employing hard-wired button presses and an alternative to HDMI output to cut down on delays.
Of course, whether it actually operates as intended remains to be seen. The demos on display at CES 2014 last week certainly showed plenty of promise, but were apparently being run on a local network. The jury’s still out on how the technology will hold up in the wild, then – but fortunately, we won’t have to wait too long for the first impressions.