PlayStation Now utilises Gaikai’s streaming technology to bring older games to the PS4, not to mention bringing games to other Sony devices too.

It’ll be arriving in the summer for the folks of the US on both the PS3 and PS4, later moving to Sony Bravia TVs, tablets and at some point, presumably, the rest of the world.

With PlayStation Now you can purchase games, rent games or pay a monthly subscription free for access to games all of which are run on server farms elsewhere and streamed directly to your device download free. You could play The Last of Us on your tablet, or Heavenly Sword on your smart TV virtually instantaneously.

This is a kind of a fix for the PS4’s lack of backwards compatibility but it’s also a step towards a cloud-based future for the industry, a future that’s deeply beneficial for publishers. You can expect a lot of the games you want to play to end up on this service, all available whenever you want them.

So what’s the downside? Well you’ve got the latency problems to deal with, and you can bet the service will be unavailable to anyone whose internet is slower than 4mb/s, and rather poor in quality even to people who come in over that mark. This isn’t the debut of cloud gaming by any means and its always been marred by the latency issue. In a lot of cases even those on fiber optic connections can’t get an optimal gaming experience.

Oh, and consumer rights. That could be a problem. Sayonara, ownership.

(source: PlayStation blog)