Sony unlikely to launch PlayStation Now in Canada this summer (Update)

Douglas Soltys

January 15, 2014 10:04pm

Great news for Canadians excited by Sony’s PlayStation Now announcement at CES. Sony had originally announced that the service, which allows the company to stream games to tablets and smartphones, in addition to PlayStation devices and Bravia TVs, would launch first in the United States. However, in a recent interview with IGN, Sony’s VP of Marketing, John Koller, confirmed that PlayStation Now would also launch in Canada this summer (check the 3-minute mark in the video below). No word on whether Canadians will get to participate in the January beta.

I’m on record with my excitement for PlayStation Now, not only for its gaming potential, but as an end-run strategy to win back revenue lost to Apple and Google as smartphones and tablets replaced handhelds as the dominant mobile gaming platform. Koller’s comments to IGN only reinforce my suspicions that Sony will use PlayStation Now to disrupt mobile gaming.

We said philosophically we need to look at this in a bigger sense. There’s other places to be able to play games.

“We said philosophically we need to look at this in a bigger sense. There’s other places to be able to play games,” Koller said to IGN. “We’re trying to solve immediacy. Getting people into games quicker is really our goal. If you notice, obviously, tablets and smartphones have a really quick way to play their smaller, short-form games. Something like PlayStation Now is very quick, very immediate, low latency, and it allows you to jump into the gameplay experience so fast – on tablet, on smartphone, on Bravia, and on our PlayStation platforms. That’s a big, big thing. “

It will take time for Sony to offer the service on enough mobile devices to be truly disruptive, but if the price point and selection is right, it could quickly become the Netflix of gaming (Sony has indicated that PlayStation Now will have a similar subscription-based model). How Canadian carriers respond to an influx of cloud gaming on their networks is another matter, entirely.

UPDATE: Sony has contacted us regarding PlayStation Now availability in Canada. According to Sony, John Koller’s statements in his interview with IGN (video below, check the 3:05 mark) have been misinterpreted, and PlayStation Now will not launch this summer in Canada. Sony also said that the company has “no current plans to bring PlayStation Now to Canada, although it may launch the service [here] in the future.”

SourceIGN

  • David Foggia

    Wooooooo

  • King kobi

    This is such a gimmick. How would you play the games while on a tablet or a phone without a controller. Your playstation has to remain running at all times. TheY need to focus on better exclusives. Xbox has already announced 15 where as the ps4 has only announced 4. The streaming is very pointless and requires a very strong Internet connection.

    • Brad Fortin

      You would play the games on a tablet or phone with a Dualshock controller. They use Bluetooth.

      It won’t require your Playstation to run all the time because the game is running on their servers, not your local device.

      If you have enough bandwidth for Netflix you probably have enough bandwidth for Playstation Now.

    • Walter

      All I can say is thank you for keeping you response clean and informed.

    • Brad Fortin

      I think you’re misunderstanding how the service works. Your device only serves as the display, the processing takes place on Sony’s servers. Pretty much like OnLive.

    • King kobi

      So what purpose will the ps4 serve if I can play any game on any device using sonys servers. whY would I need PSN for also.

    • Brad Fortin

      It lets you play older games on your PS4, and lets you enjoy those games away from home. It does not yet play PS4 games.

      When it does offer PS4 games it will be up to the customer whether they want to own the games or rent them via the subscription, similar to how people can buy music or stream it via a music subscription like Rdio or Slacker.

    • Quadron

      Um with a controller ya dummy. Dualshock controllers have bluetooth for a reason, oh and not to mention USB connection for a majority of phones/tablets.

      Bonus, Sony announced their studios are working on 20+ exclusives. That is JUST their first party studios.

      Your other points are either pessimistic, subjective, misinformed, or a combination.

      Here, I’ll take off your blinders so you stop seeing situations with bias and a narrow view.

    • Sean Holt

      you lack understanding of how the service works. it is essential Netflix for games all the work is done in the back end by Sony servers. all your device does is work as a streaming device. all the work is done on the back end

  • Walter

    My only question is do I need a Dual Shock or will any PlayStation compatible controller do. Cause for the life of me I hate the Dual Shock. But playing all the PlayStation games that I missed over time is so juicy.

    • Nadefrenzy

      You’re asking too much. Go use the dozens of other 3rd party controllers and play on the console itself.

    • Walter

      So is that a yes I can use any PlayStation compatible controller?

    • Nadefrenzy

      Dunno. Beats me.

    • Walter

      Then why are you commenting?

    • Nadefrenzy

      Freedom of speech, burger flippa!

    • Walter

      Freedom of speech is definitely wasted in you. Anyways u done feeding a troll like you.

    • Nadefrenzy

      You mean “I’m done”.

      Anyway, if it doesn’t work, then I don’t see why you can’t use an adapter of some sort. Though it will be wired. Like that adapter to use Xbox 360 controllers on ps3.

    • Sean Holt

      my understanding is that anything with a Bluetooth will work just fine. but i could be wrong

  • John David Douglas Marshall

    Awesome! I had heard it was going to be US-exclusive, which made me concerned, but this is excellent news. Might even have a PS4 by the time, as well. ;)

  • lebel

    With typical really low bandwidth caps, you’ll be able to play for a few “hours” than, you’ll start to be charged thru the roof to keep playing…

  • Tom

    Playstation Now? After trying out OnLive, on both sides of the border, I can’t see that service being a real success.

    Even if the usage cap was unlimited and the bandwidth was 1 Gbps, you have to account for latency, which is much harder to control due to physical distance. And latency tends to fluctuate a lot over mobile networks. That was my biggest beef with OnLive – the latency. It can be tolerable at times, typically in slower-paced adventure games, but for shooters it is unacceptable.

    When there’s a monthly fee to use a cloud gaming service, and you need a high or unlimited cap to really take advantage of it, and the latency just sucks, it’s more worthwhile in the long run to get a console and/or build your own PC. PC games are cheap on Steam, GMG, GameFly, etc. Console games are more expensive but the upfront cost of the machine is lower, and you can get decent deals off ebay and Amazon (US), heck even Futureshop has passable discounts from time to time.

    Also, using virtual buttons to play a game that was designed with a gamepad in mind? No thanks. I tried out the Sony Tablet S running a PS1 emulator with Crash Bandicoot and was totally unimpressed – the virtual buttons just cannot compare to my PSP. I know you can hook up a controller with USB OTG or Bluetooth, but that hurts the portability aspect.

  • Christopher Franklin

    wow i was really looking forward to this service and now im really bummed it isnt coming to canada.. they offer all these services to america and not to me in canada yet they expect me to pay the same amount of money like america but for less..

    • Immanuel Boudreau

      This is BS why the F*** arent Canadians getting this?!?! wtf?

    • Dan Larsen

      Actually, they expect us to pay more!