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.”