Report: PlayStation Now powered by specialized PS3 hardware

Sony has reportedly designed a modified version of the PlayStation 3 for use in its PlayStation Now data centers. While the company apparently tried off-the-shelf PS3s, it ultimately found that needed something more to power the cloud gaming service. Instead, it opted instead to use new hardware that's the equivalent of eight systems housed on a single motherboard.

Digital Foundry cites sources close to the project, stating that the revisions let Sony cut latency in the Now service. It came with other benefits as well, including shelf space and electricity usage. Gaikai was a software team at its core, the report states, but when snatched up by Sony the teams started to work together and noticed the need for dedicated hardware.

PlayStation Now is planned to hit a closed beta this month, and Sony has said it recommends a 5Mbps connection at minimum. Our own hands-on from CES left us fairly impressed, but we'll have to see how well the service works when it's out in the wild.