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Sony sells 4.2 million PS4 consoles

Sony plans to launch PlayStration Now, a service that will stream games remotely from a cloud-based server.

Sony plans to launch PlayStration Now, a service that will stream games remotely from a cloud-based server.

LAS VEGAS - Sony Corp said it has sold 4.2 million PlayStation 4 game consoles as of 28 December, surpassing the 3 million Microsoft Xbox One devices sold as of end-2013.

Sony also plans to launch "PlayStation Now" this summer, a service that will stream games from remote cloud-based servers to consoles, TVs, tablets and smartphones, House said.

That cloud-gaming service incorporates technology from Gaikai, a California-based company Sony acquired for $380 million in 2012.

On Tuesday, shares in Gamestop Inc. plunged 8.4 percent to $44.14 on fears that the cloud-based gaming service, which can stream older games to the PS4, will jeopardise the retailer's large and growing used-game business.

The company said it will begin testing a new television service that combines traditional viewing with on-demand content through its PlayStation gaming system, a cloud-based service could possibly change long-established cable and media industry relationships.

Sony executives described the as-yet unnamed service on Tuesday as a blend of live cable, on-demand and DVR content.

Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, they promised an intuitive design for searching for content, addressing a common complaint of cable customers.

Sony's embryonic effort builds on similar moves by Microsoft Corp and Intel Corp. Viewers could buy viewing packages through Sony, much as customers now do through cable operators like Comcast.

As envisioned, the service would allow subscribers to play games, call up TV shows and movies, and tune into broadcast channels via a single box.

It was unclear how advanced Sony's project was. It did not announce any deals with media companies, but said details will be forthcoming and the service will be tested and unveiled this year.

Sony CEO Kaz Hirai told reporters the company had struck up "a good dialogue" with content holders or media companies. But he stopped short of describing the impact on the cable industry.

Hirai denied that Sony's service would compete with pay TV companies such as Comcast or DirecTV even though it plans to sell consumers a package of live television channels, which they currently get through cable providers.

Sony, which already owns a major film and entertainment production business, says it is trying to create a more personal service for consumers accustomed to getting much of their TV content through cable providers.

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