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Sony announced today that it will be testing a cloud-based TV service in the US later this year.
The service will combine TV shows and live programming, as well as video on demand into a single source of entertainment. The service will allow for seamless device switching — from a PS4 to an iPad, for example.
Combining cable television and on-demand services has been an illusive holy grail up to this point, one which Microsoft is attempting to crack with the Xbox One. With 70 million internet enabled Sony devices — 4.2 million of which are PS4 units as of 28 December — the Japanese company has some weight to throw around.
Sony also gave an update on its game streaming initiative, which it will officially call PlayStation Now. “We’ve made incredible steps in integrating Gaikai’s cloud-based technology into our network,” said Andrew House, from Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment.
As expected, the service will come to all PlayStation devices, but it will also be available on TVs, tablets, and smartphones. In the long-term, PlayStation Now will allow instant access to games from the three previous generations of PlayStations — allowing for backward-compatibility.
A closed beta in the US will begin at the end of January, with an expected full rollout by the end of summer.
Shortly before wrapping up the press conference, Sony CEO, Kaz Hirai, introduced the Ultra Short Throw Projector, a UHD projector that displays lifelike high-definition scenes on open spaces to create what Hirai referred to as “Lifespace UX,” in an attempt to break free of “frames, boxes, and displays.”