Sony is soon to release its PlayStation TV microconsole and with it a way of playing your PS4 games in another room in the house, while somebody else watches the television the new-gen console is plugged into. As well as several other fancy features - PS Vita gaming on the big screen, etc - it is capable of using Sony's PS4 Remote Play feature, but it's not the first device to support it.
The PS Vita has been able to remotely play PS4 games since the console's launch last year and other devices have followed more recently. So what is PS4 Remote Play, how does it work and what devices are compatible? Read on.
What is PS4 Remote Play?
As a major part of the PlayStation 4's make up, Sony introduced Remote Play from the off. It lets you essentially play almost all games stored on the new-gen console on a mobile or remote device using a PlayStation DualShock 4 or DualShock 3 controller (or using the PS Vita's own controls).
The games need to either be installed on the PS4's hard drive or be inserted into its disc drive, but apart from that you can even control the menu system and most of the console's other functions from the separate device.
How does it work?
Like cloud gaming services, such as OnLive or PlayStation Now in the US, Remote Play effectively uses screen mirroring to send video of the game or user interface running on the PS4 over your home network to your remote device. It's maxed out at 720p rather than the 1080p from the main console, but as it's often shown on a smaller screen - a much smaller screen if it's a smartphone or Vita - it still looks crisp and high resolution enough.
The controller codes are sent over the network in reverse so that the game plays on the PS4 accurately. There is little or no lag in control commands and the game runs as if it were hosted on the device. The PS4 does all the hard work, so even older, less powerful devices could technically be compatible.
What devices are supported?
As previously mentioned, the PS Vita has been able to remotely play PS4 games for a year, since the new-gen console was launched. As it is based on the Vita engine and experience, the new PlayStation TV box also comes with Remote Play functionality, making it an ideal bedroom machine.
Sony also recently added the feature to its Xperia Z3 phones and tablets and, even more recently, Xperia Z2 devices. To play on a smartphone or tablet you will need to connect a PS4 controller to them. Sony sells an additional clip on cradle so that a phone can sit on top of the controller, effectively turning it into a handheld games console.
It could also be added to other devices in future, although there are no current plans to expand it to Android phones and tablets not made by Sony.