When the PlayStation 4 launched in November last year, one of its major selling points, and one of the most-demonstrated features, was Remote Play. This is the ability to hook up your PS4 and your PlayStation Vita, allowing you to stream PS4 games on to the small screen, hand-held device. Which let’s face it, is pretty damn handy if someone is hogging the TV. Now you don’t have to kick the family out of the living room to get playing your favourite game. Just grab your Vita, link up to your PS4 and start gaming. But as impressive as it sounds, is it really worth all the hype?
This early on we’re probably not expecting perfection, but is it something that works? Is it a service that people will genuinely use? We tested it out to see whether it should be a big factor in you purchasing a PS4, currently in stock with launch packs at GAME and EBay.
Remote Play is extremely easy to set up and, on initial showings, works very well. The PS4’s Remote Play works natively, unlike the PS3’s case-by-case support, which means that game developers can add in tailored controls for certain games. So in Assassin’s Creed 4 for example, there are touch screen controls for the map, but you can also use the Vita’s shoulder buttons as triggers, a simple tweak that works brilliantly.
Although there can be issues with WiFi connections, generally speaking there are very few drop-outs in the middle of your game. If you’re patient and hit the ‘X’ button on the Vita, the game starts up again pretty soon, and if you have a decent broadband connection, you probably won’t have any problems.
Thankfully, this is a pretty minor complaint when set against the wonder of playing a proper game of something like Assassin’s Creed on a portable console. You can play your games in bed, on the train, and the games look as beautiful as anything we’ve seen on a hand-held. The HD stream on the OLED screen is a real game changer, and compares favourably with the Xbox 360, thanks to the next-gen rendering.
Whilst using Remote Play for games is definitely a big winner, that’s not all you can do. You can also connect to your console via your smartphone, making it easy to message friends and manage PSN friend requests without having to fire up the console or log on to the SEN website. Overall, lots of the second screen uses are more practical and pleasant than you would imagine they might be.
In conclusion, we think Remote Play for the PS4 is definitely worth the hype. If you’ve got a PS4 and a Vita and haven’t linked them up yet, you’re definitely missing a trick. It’s very easy to hook them up and this will definitely make the both the Vita and the PS4 hugely desirable to gamers everywhere.