Sony's answer to the PlayStation 4's lack of backward compatibility, though it refuses to use such language, has moved into its beta period -- the beta version of PlayStation Now (PS Now), the streaming game service, and a catalog of PS3 games are now open to gamers in the US and Canada.

PS Now had been in a private beta phase for PS3 owners since January, but the latest beta period of the streaming services opened cloud-based PS3 games to Sony's PS4 user base.

PS Now requires a network connection with a speed of at least 5Mbps, a Sony Entertainment Network account and a compatible Sony device. Compatible devices for the streaming services include the PS4, PS, PS Vita, BRAVIA TV's and PS TV's.

Sony has stressed its point that PS Now shouldn't be viewed as backwards compatibility support for the PS4, as the streaming service includes several new features. Jack Buser, senior director of PS Now, described the services as a compliment to Sony's existing offering for the PS4 and PS3.

"We're working diligently to bring a subscription option to gamers to compliment our rental offering for PlayStation Now," said Buser. "We believe that offering both of these options would provide gamers the freedom to discover and play games in ways that weren't before possible."

The open beta period of PS Now was said to include more than 100 titles with rental period that range from four hours to 90 days. PS Now will incorporate several features already available on the PlayStation Network, including cloud saves and trophies for achievements.

"We think PS Now represents the next step toward the future of gaming and we're excited to have the PlayStation Nation come along with us on the beginning of this journey," said Buser.

As Sony lauds PS Now, it turned EA's sales pitch away at door. EA offered a $5-per-month subscription service that would give PlayStation owners access to EA's top games, but a Sony Spokesperson said Sony felt the optional service wasn't a good deal - Microsoft, however, agreed to allow EA to deliver the optional service to Xbox One owners.

"PlayStation Plus memberships are up more than 200% since the launch of PlayStation 4, which shows that gamers are looking for memberships that offer a multitude of services, across various devices, for one low price," said the Sony spokesperson. "We don't think asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific program represents good value to the PlayStation gamer."

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