1 Reason Why Microsoft Should Be Terrified of Sony

Can't make it to the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show? Never fear... the Fool is there to check out the tech and report back on who's there and what's new. With thousands of products in more than 15 categories, the next big thing is surely making its debut at the CES in Las Vegas.

Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) has introduced a streaming game service called PlayStation Now, to be launched in summer 2014. With both rental and subscription models, the service brings console-quality games to a wide range of devices. 

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A full transcript follows the video.

Evan Niu: Hey Fools, Evan Niu here. We're at CES 2014, and right now at the Sony exhibit. One of the more interesting things that Sony has announced so far is PlayStation Now.

It's a streaming game service. Sony bought a streaming game company in 2012 and, up until now, we haven't seen the fruits of that acquisition. Now they're rolling out this; it can stream console-quality games to a wide range of devices including PS3s, PlayStation Vitas, a lot of exciting stuff.

As you can see, the performance looks pretty nice, so there you have it.


Niu: Can you tell us a little bit more about PlayStation Now? It's all cloud-based streaming, right?

Sony Rep: Exactly.

Niu: What's the company you guys bought, again? I can't remember the name of it.

Sony Rep: Gaikai.

Niu: Gaikai, that's what it was.

Sony Rep: PlayStation Now is a game streaming service based on Sony's advanced cloud technology. It's the first game streaming service to go onto a game console. We're also showing it here on a Bravia TV. Certain 2014 model Bravias will support PlayStation Now, as well, so you can stream games without a console.

Niu: It looks pretty good, too. You can barely tell the difference.

Sony Rep: Yeah. Based on your Internet connection, you can get up to 720p. The technology is adaptive, so it tests your connection, and it will maintain the best gameplay experience.

Niu: Is there anything required on the developer's side? Do they need to make their games compatible or supported, or is that something that's just out of the box?

Sony Rep: Right now, we're focusing on the PlayStation 3 library of games. Any PlayStation 3 game is potentially something that could be in PlayStation Now.

Niu: So it's something that you guys convert over. It's not like the developer has to go back and make it compatible or anything; it plays as-is.

Sony Rep: Exactly.

Niu: This is maybe one solution for PlayStation 4 people to get some of these older titles without having to buy a PS3 again.

Sony Rep: Yeah. We're launching in summer 2014. It will be on the PlayStation 4. We're looking at two different models for this: one, a rental model, and also a subscription-based model, so you'll have access to a wide variety of PlayStation 3 games on the PlayStation 4, via the PlayStation Now service.

Niu: Thank you very much.

Sony Rep: You're welcome.

Read/Post Comments (9) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On January 16, 2014, at 9:44 AM, Ebby720 wrote:

    Won't affect me one bit....not gonna pay for games I've bought already for the PS3, nor will I buy a download and be stuck with something I can't trade in when I am done.

  • Report this Comment On January 16, 2014, at 9:47 AM, ewro wrote:

    And even if MS was to duplicate the service the one thing MS doesn't have is content. Sony has so many exclusives that are timeless. They are very much like Nintendo that way. The problem MS would have is their games have always been very first person centric. Mainly shooters and nobody wants to play the older version of those. They just don't hold up well over time.

  • Report this Comment On January 16, 2014, at 9:51 AM, Soakee wrote:

    Did I miss something, or was there supposed to be some information on streaming PS3 games to a "variety" of devices?

  • Report this Comment On January 16, 2014, at 10:07 AM, Expert01565 wrote:

    @ewro, Im guessing you really dont know what your talking the fact that Xbox Live already has this Stream feature on the Xbox 360 .lol Sony is copying Microsoft but Motley is a Sony fan and can't write an article to save there life..You would think they would mention something about

  • Report this Comment On January 16, 2014, at 11:32 AM, djdan1 wrote:

    Sony has been copying Microsoft since the original Xbox [where XBOX Live was implemented]...they say kinect is stupid...but SONY has a PS EYE.

    Subscriptions are dumb = Xbox SONY has PS Network Platinum.

    They sit back & wait for Microsoft to make a move & they copy it...or sell it for cheaper.

  • Report this Comment On January 16, 2014, at 11:40 AM, bames13 wrote:

    you do realize microsoft also has a streaming service set to launch in 2014 as well?

    Either route....i just can't wait to have to continually rent a game and stream it vs. actually owning rights to it's content once i purchase it for a one time only fee.

    I also can't wait for the additional complication...server slowdowns on provider/sony/game developer end, PS now's and xbox's streaming service bandwidth being choked by the providers (w/ net neutrality defeated), weather related internet issues. If there is one thing i have always thought that gaming needed was more buffering and choppy frame-rates during play.

    Here is my prediction for the next 3 years of game streaming. We the gamer will get a worse product/experience and we will pay 2-3 times more per game because we will be forced to pay for subscription services and perpetual rental of the games vs. being able to purchase a physical copy or a full digital rights to a complete download.

  • Report this Comment On January 16, 2014, at 11:44 AM, bames13 wrote:

    I own both system so i am not a fanboy.

    But Sony fanboys prior claim to fame was free online multiplayer gaming.

    1. That is no more as you have to pay $59.99 for a year subscription to PS Plus for this capability.

    2. It is had to believe that the same base of fans would be thrilled about paying and additional subscription fee for PS now (on top of the PS Plus Fee) to be able to stream and have to perpetually rent and re-rent PS3 and PS2 Games which many of them had actually already purchased on older systems. Talk about greed. Sony's stance seems to be "We aren't even going to let you re-purchase ps3 games you had already bought we are going to make you pay a never-ending subscription and game rental fee for as long as you want to be able to have access to play it.

  • Report this Comment On January 16, 2014, at 5:47 PM, MistaMann wrote:

    Microsoft has no reason to be afraid of Sony at all, since gaming is such a tiny minority of both companies' revenue stream.

    The day Sony feels like creating a desktop OS, or Microsoft feels like making a TV, any comparison between the two is simple stupidity.

  • Report this Comment On January 16, 2014, at 5:59 PM, TheC777 wrote:

    ummmm... barnes13 u r indeed a fanboy.

    1. PS plus is 49.99. xboxlive is 59.99

    2. Those of us who are truelly not fanboys have not played any of the "rumored" great exclusives of PS3 and would LOVE the opportunity to rent them from our PS4.

    and btw non fanboy, since u own both systems, how u liking the fact that PS plus has more stability and less yelling children than xboxlive for cheaper? and if u truelly own both u know what i say is true.

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Evan Niu

Evan is a Senior Technology Specialist at The Motley Fool. He was previously a Senior Trading Specialist at a major discount broker. Evan graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a CFA charterholder.

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