Remote play for consoles has been a standard feature for quite some time now. We’ve been able to stream a PS4 or Xbox One to a PC or mobile device. As far as the PS4 is concerned, PSVita (respects for our fallen soldier) has been a very convenient way to stream your games via remote play in the past. However, after the death of PS Vita, there hasn’t really been an official way to stream to a mobile device apart from a Sony Xperia device. That changed last week when Sony announced official PS4 remote play for iPhone and iPad devices.
What is PS4 Remote Play?
The name is pretty self-explanatory. PS4 remote play allows PS4 players to stream their games remotely to another device. These could be Windows, MacOS, Xperia android devices and now, iOS devices. Even though there have been many unofficial apps that have supported remote play for years now, official support from Sony is always an encouraging sight. It streamlines the experience for users that might not be very tech savvy and just want to have an easy remote play system.
How to run Remote Play?
In order to experience PS4 Remote Play, you’ll need the following things:
- A PlayStation 4 system running firmware version 6.50 or higher.
- An iPhone or iPad running iOS 12.1 or higher.
- The PS4 Remote Play app that can be installed via the App Store.
- An MFi controller for iPhone or iPad. (Optional)
After you’ve fulfilled these conditions, you’re set to stream your PS4 games to your iOS device. Follow these steps to get going:
- Connect your PS4 and iOS device to the same Wi-Fi network.
- Open the PS4 remote play app and log into your PSN account. Once you’re done, go to the main screen and hit the start button. The app will now search for your PS4.
- If you have an older PS4, you might get a prompt in the app asking for a code to connect devices manually. On your PS4, go to Settings > Remote play settings and select Add Devices. Enter the code that comes up on the screen into the Remote Play app on your phone.
- Click Register in the lower right corner of the app and voila! You’re in. You’ll get an overlay that looks like the buttons on a DualShock 4 controller. Simply follow the onscreen instructions now to get the hang of it.
As evident from the steps above, setting up the Remote Play is extremely simple and generally a smooth experience. But a simple connection method does not mean that the final experience would be good too. Let’s take a look at how Remote Play fared in our tests.
PS4 Remote Play Impressions:
Okay, first of all, everyone has to agree that the prospect of playing games remotely from your PS4 while you’re in the kitchen or just chilling in your terrace is really cool. This is, in no way, going to be a replacement for your actual PS4 though and is never going to be as good as that but does it need to?
Well, the answer would be both yes and no. It needs to be good enough for someone to enjoy their game seamlessly without any nuances that come with other usual remote play adaptations. In controlled and ideal conditions, PS4 remote play comes impressively close to replicating the authentic PS4 experience. However, that is never accurate and doesn’t reflect real world usage.
For starters, you’re definitely going to need a 5 Ghz Wi-Fi router for the remote play to just run comfortably. Even though 5 Ghz routers are pretty standard these days, a lot of people still use 2.4 Ghz routers just because of the range advantages they possess. Apart from that, if you don’t have a stellar Wi-Fi signal while playing at all times, you’re gonna have a pretty bad time.
Even after all of this, playing PS4 games on your phone is still pretty cool, right? Well, yeah but only if you play games that your grandma can play while she’s reclined on her mega auto-massage motorized sofa seat 5000. The biggest problem with Remote play has always been higher latency and input lag. The input signal takes time to travel between your phone and your PS4 and since it has to go through a Wi-Fi router too, it takes even longer. This means that Remote Play is optimal only for turn-based games or chill “walking simulators”. So, forget about getting that winner winner chicken dinner on PUBG or being successful at any other competitive games that require fast and twitchy response times.
Playing without a controller is also a nightmare for anyone who doesn’t want to break their phone in frustration. We recommend getting something like a SteelSeries Nimbus, Rotor Riot or GameVice Controller for a better experience. Moreover, you can only play at 720p or 1080p if you use a PlayStation 4 Pro which is a bummer. Leaving the app also drops your connection to the PS4 and that turned out to be extremely annoying every time a notification popped up during gameplay when we just had to send a quick reply to the person texting.
Having the option to play your PS4 games on your phone is a very convenient feature to have. If you stay away from the likes of Call of Duty or any other fast paced games, you can have a seamless and enjoyable experience. The fact that it is so easy to connect and use while being free at the same time cannot be taken for granted. With a few software updates from Sony, Remote Play has the potential to be much better but as of yet, it just falls short of that seamless multi-device future that we all want. It is, still a step in the right direction from Sony as they open up to a more inclusive gaming community. The only way from here, is up and we cannot wait for what the future holds.