Sony has developed a custom, redesigned version of the PlayStation 3 hardware for use with its upcoming streaming service, PlayStation Now, Digital Foundry reports.

According to the report, "sources who have been briefed on the project" state that the hardware for PlayStation Now will consist of eight specialized PlayStation 3 units fit into one server rack.

This helps in cutting down on electricity and space. By fitting the equivalent of eight PlayStation 3 systems onto one motherboard, it takes far less power and room in Sony's data centers. Even the most recent, "super-slim" PS3 uses 80 W of power.

Additionally, there may have been some changes made to the hardware in an attempt to reduce latency. Not too many changes could be made, however, as messing with the PlayStation 3's cell processor and RSX graphics processor could lead to software compatibility issues.

Sony is expected to start rolling out the PlayStation Now streaming service this summer with a beta at the end of January. It will use custom PlayStation 3 hardware, but you'll never see it. Talk about futuristic.

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[via Digital Foundry]