Sony Sells 4.2M PS4s, Tips Streaming Game Service


LAS VEGAS–Sony used its CES keynote here to unveil a new cloud-based TV service and streaming game offering, as well as provide an update on how fast its new PlayStation 4 is flying off the shelves.

As of Dec. 28, Sony has sold more 4.2 million PS4 units, Sony Computer Entertainment President and CEO Andrew House said today. That’s up from 2 million earlier in the month, and tops Microsoft’s recent tally of 3 million Xbox One consoles sold since launch.

But Sony is not stopping there, breaking free of the confines of physical devices to deliver the ”wow factor” today’s consumers are after, said Sony President and CEO Kazuo Hirai (pictured).

”Its time to move beyond the just-good-enough era,” Hirai said. ”We must, and we can, do better.”

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That begins with a new streaming game service, dubbed PlayStation Now, which will provide gamers instant access to the entire library of PlayStation titles on their smartphones, tablets, and TVs. Sony is planning to launch a closed beta test of PlayStation Now at the end of January and expects a full rollout this summer.

The new service will deliver a richer gaming experience, allowing players to more easily connect with friends and ”unlock the full potential of games,” House said. Players will be able to rent specific titles, or subscribe to the service and try a range of games.

House promised more details about the new service soon. According to Gamespot, the service will be on display at the Sony booth using Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us and Quantic Dream’s Beyond: Two Souls on the Vita and Bravia TVs, but House didn’t talk launch titles during today’s keynote.

The news comes about 1.5 years after Sony acquired cloud gaming service Gaikai.

Speaking of the cloud, Sony also unveiled a new Web-based television service, which will combine live TV and on-demand content in a single destination with an easy-to-use interface.

The new cloud-based TV service will get to know your preferences and recommended content you might like, based on your viewing history and the programs your friends watch. Users will be able to search programs across live and on-demand content without multiple boxes, House said. Each member of a family will be able to have their own personalized menu, and users will can seamlessly switch from watching on their PlayStation 4 to their iPad, for instance.

Sony plans to start testing the new service in the U.S. later this year.

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Finally, Hirai showed off a new ultra short-throw projector that can cast a 4K image up to 147 inches. It will arrive by the end of the summer, but will cost a whopping  $30,000 to $40,000.

Hirai talked about using that projector, however, for a concept known as Life Space UX, which will ”transform living spaces into evolving environments.” It essentially turns any wall surface into a 4K viewing experience. It will, for example, let you project a piece of art on the wall, create a virtual window displaying the action outside in real-time, or let you watch a concert you couldn’t nab tickets to, Hirai said.

The announcements come after Sony just yesterday unveiled a slew of new products here at CES, ranging from 4K HDTVs to camcorders and phones.