Sony said it was coming, and now it’s here. Sony is now confirming it’s launched a public beta test of PS5 cloud gaming — one that streams games to a PS5 at up to 4K resolution, according to gamers who are now receiving invitations.
We didn’t previously know Sony would be streaming at 4K, and that could be a big deal no matter what that “4K” actually means.
While Sony spokesperson Mary Taing says the company doesn’t have additional details to share, several users at popular gaming forum ResetEra say they’ve made it in and are sharing some early impressions. Original poster ArashiGames says you can choose between 720p, 1080, 1440p, and 2160p (4K) resolutions, with games automatically loading your cloud saves so you can pick up and play.
While cloud saves may seem like table stakes, that hasn’t always been the case: early versions of Sony’s PlayStation Now cloud gaming service understandably had no initial way to import savegames from your PS3, for instance.
While it’s not clear whether the 4K “max resolution” refers to the render resolution (i.e., the gaming graphics) or the streaming resolution (the actual size of the images beamed to your TV), either would help because of how cloud games are streamed. Images have to be compressed quite small to get rapidly fired across the internet 60 times a second (or more), and that compression can often manifest as an ugly haze over what’s otherwise a perfectly playable game.
Streaming at 4K resolution helps fix that, even if you don’t have a 4K screen, as we’ve explained testing Nvidia’s GeForce Now and Google Stadia. (Both of those services offered 4K streaming but asked you to pay extra for it.)
ArashiGames says available games include God of War: Ragnarok, Horizon Forbidden West, Fortnite, Fall Guys, Destiny 2, Returnal, Demon’s Souls, Death Stranding, Sackboy A Big Adventure, Destruction All Stars, and Fall Guys — with trials available for Resident Evil Village and Demon Slayer as well.
In June, when Sony first said it planned to test PS5 game streaming, the company suggested the test would include “PS5 titles from the PlayStation Plus Game Catalog and Game Trials, as well as supported digital PS5 titles that players own,” and that it would add additional games over time.
Sony also wrote that “we can’t wait to share more details when we’re ready, including a launch time frame.” Today, Sony says what we’re seeing is part of the test the company already announced in June.
It’s still not clear whether Sony’s upcoming Q handheld will stream any of these games or if PS5 streaming will be available anywhere save a PS5 itself. We do know Sony had a huge hiring push around a new vision for cloud gaming, though.
Update, 8:44PM ET: Added confirmation from Sony that what we’re seeing is the planned test it announced in June.