A few days ago Sony released firmware version 3.50 for the Playstation 4, among other things, they added what i consider one of the best features available on the PS4, and that is Remote Play support for PC & Mac.
Previously exclusive only to Sony’s devices, like the PS Vita & TV, remote play was mostly a novelty feature and not something a lot of people used. To be honest most Playstation 4 games i tried on the Vita were hard to play and just felt wrong. XBOX One had a remote play functionality for Windows for some time now, so Sony had to do something to keep up with the competition.
To simply explain what the Playstation 4 Remote Play does, after you download and install the special software required at your pc/laptop, you can stream your ps4 directly to your Windows or Mac devices and play. This can happen both locally and remotely. For remote play Sony says you need approx 5 mbps of upload speed to play smoothly.
There are 2 scenarios where i think Remote Play will be useful. First of all at home, since usually the PS4 is hooked up into your Home Theater couch setup, you usually have to say, ok its time to go play now, you will move to the couch and dedicate yourself. While that is perfectly fine if you have the time to do so, its much harder for people with limited time and responsibilities. On the other hand being able to play on the PC i use for work and since most people have at least 2 monitors, you can do small gaming sessions between working or being available at your computer. For example i finished a whole Resident Evil Revelations campaign while having a Skype business meeting. Second scenario is, if you’re at work, in your office, you can do small gaming sessions if you’re having a break or just want to chill out.
The whole setup process is fairly simple.
- First you need to go and download the software from the playstation website and install it.
- Next you need to enable remote play on your PS4
- Run the PS4 Remote Play software you installed on your pc or mac, connect a DUALSHOCK 4 controller via USB and press Start.
- The software will attempt to identify the Playstation 4 in your network automatically after you log in with your Playstation account.
- Last step, Enjoy!
A few things to note.
- You can change the resolution and the frame rate via the Remote Play software settings. Maximum supported resolution for now is 720p and the default setting is 540p.
- For basic functionality you don’t need to have a DUALSHOCK 4 controller connected, keyboard and mouse work fine.
- If you have multiple Playstation 4 systems under the same network make sure you have enabled remote play only on one system otherwise there will be a conflict with the software and it won’t be able to connect to your PS4.
- You don’t need to power up your Playstation before you can use Remote Play, remote play will automatically turn your PS4 on and off.
- Certain things won’t work via remote play, for example Netflix.
- If you are having lag try lowering the resolution and frame rate via the Remote Play software Settings.
I have gamed a few days now via Remote Play at max settings and i can honestly say it works very good. Over 10 hours i maybe had 1 or 2 small instances of lag due to the network getting loaded. My only gripe is that Sony should have included 1080p resolution support for local play, 720p for remote i can dig but local can easily support 1080p. I guess they might add it somewhere down the road and even if they don’t the current one is perfectly acceptable.