In spring playstation will be launching a private beta test of the upcoming psnow service, where users can play ps3 games noted as big hits (“blockbuster and critically aclaimed games”) using a streaming cloud service, different to existing cloud based gaming platforms such as steam the playstation now service notes that users would never need to install, download or update the games and that they could be played immediately without delays of any sort.

There is a minimum requirement of a 5mbps download speed in order to be able to use the service effectively, but this is understandable considering the nature of streaming the games directly, anything smaller would cause problems.

Initially the service will choose candidates from the pool of ps4 owners subscribed to the playstation plus service, but it will branch out further at later stages of the beta to include playstation 3 owners and possibly even those not on playstation plus.

Anyone wishing to express an interest in participating should register at www.playstation.com/psnow where the initial testers will be selected

When the service launches proper it will be a rental service where a small fee will be charged per rental, however during the beta it is noted that this service will be free of charge. There is no note on the actual price of the titles, however I am sure it will be only a couple of quid much like renting a game from a shop would cost, without the delay of going to the store and searching, installing, updating, having to return it on time and all of the other associated hassles.

Examples of titles come from SCE’s worldwide range of titles and noted examples are Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, The Last of Us and God of War Ascension, Rayman Legends (Ubisoft), Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (Ubisoft), Saints Row: The Third – The Full Package (Koch Media), Just Cause 2 (Square Enix), The Walking Dead (Telltale) and Dirt 3 (Codemasters), although there is a Notes to Editors that games included in the private beta won’t necessarily represent what’s offered in the full PS Now service however, and may change during the beta trial so this is worth bearing in mind, however gives an impression of what can be expected, and titles noted should become available.

So why not sign up if you’re able and check it out for yourself.