The closed beta has begun.
Sony is now sending out invites to a closed beta test of its upcoming game streaming service, PlayStation Now. Participants are recommended to have their PlayStation 3 hooked up to the local network via Ethernet, and have an Internet connection that's 5 Mbps or higher.
"With this invitation, you will receive exclusive access to test PlayStation's game streaming service before its full launch, and the opportunity to provide your regular feedback to the PlayStation Now team," reads the letter.
Sony first revealed PlayStation Now during CES 2014 earlier this month. The upcoming service is slated to go live in the United States sometime this summer, providing gamers with popular hits and classic games from the PlayStation 3 library.
The service, powered by Gaikai's cloud streaming technology, will arrive first on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, followed by the PS Vita handheld. Sony also plans to bring its streaming service to most 2014 U.S.-based models of Sony's Bravia TV lineup, and eventually branch out to tablets, smartphones and other devices.
"We want to offer you choice when it comes to how you want to access content on PS Now, so you will be able to rent by title for specific games you are interested in. We'll also offer a subscription that will enable you to explore a range of titles," said Sid Shuman, Sony's Social Media Manager.
Sony's Matthew Harper said on the PlayStation Blog that PlayStation Now will test the connection of each game and optimize for quality if the customer is above the minimum requirements. The goal is to have the streaming game feel as if it's loaded locally on a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 3 console.
"The Closed Beta will definitely provide a great opportunity to test the experience with gamers with varying connection speeds and our developers will, of course, be working diligently to optimize the service based upon the feedback we receive from the community," Harper writes.
For starters, PlayStation Now will stream PlayStation 3 games, with other possible content to follow in the future such as PS One, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 4 titles. So far specific games have not been announced, but Harper writes that Sony will be listening to the community for requests.
Is Sony making the right move by offering streaming versions of its PlayStation games? So far the service is locked to Sony hardware, so it won't be much of a threat to the likes of OnLive until Sony brings the desktop/laptop platform into the equation. The "other devices" tells us where Sony plans to go, but that move may depend on how many PlayStation hardware owners will take the PlayStation Now bait this summer.