When Sony announced that the PS4 wouldn't be backward compatible, many gamers were understandably upset. Nobody wants to leave thousands of dollars of games from last-gen collecting dust. That's where the newly announced PlayStation Now comes into play.
PlayStation Now has been announced by Sony at CES 2014. It's essentially a rebranded Gaikai, the cloud-based technology which Sony acquired in 2012 for $380 million. Although the investment was significant, what it brings to the table is convenience and accessibility. At launch, it will allow popular PS3 games to be played on the PS4 and eventually the PS Vita, smartphones, and tablets. In the not so distant future, other game libraries will be published to the service so that consumption of just about any PlayStation title is easily available.
Features such as trophies, messaging, and online play will be fully supported at launch. It's been structured so that it functions as close to a playing a digital game copy as possible. The only bad news, which is predictable, is that it will require a subscription to access.
If you're really curious about how it performs, a beta will become available later this month that you can opt-in for. The Last of Us is currently playable on the CES show floor in Las Vegas if you happen to be at the show.
PlayStation Now will make its formal debut during Summer 2014.
CES 2014: Day 1 at the Consumer Electronics Show; 1/7/14