Sony has finally added the ability to play PS4 games remotely through an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
The ability to stream from a PS4 or PS4 Pro to mobile is not new - it has been available for Sony Xperia Android handsets for the best part of five years - but this is the first time that iOS device owners can use the feature officially.
You could do it through paid-for, unofficial apps, but now the full-blown Sony version is available. And it's free.
What is PS4 Remote Play?
PS4 Remote Play effectively uses your smartphone, tablet, PC or PS Vita as a wireless screen for a PlayStation 4. It streams whatever is playing on the console straight to the second screen, with control codes going back in the other direction.
You can link a compatible controller to a supported device or, in the case of those with touchscreens, use on-screen controls to play full games as if on your TV.
Where the iPhone is concerned, your fingers might obscure a lot of the action, and twitch controls are tricky using just the screen. It still works well on many games that don't require lightning fast reactions.
Plus, you can always use a Bluetooth controller, as long as it's MFI-certified to work with Apple devices. Sadly, the DualShock 4 is not and won't pair with an iPhone or iPad without having to jailbreak them first.
Here then is how to get PS4 Remote Play working on your iOS device...
Install PS4 Remote Play on your iPhone or iPad
- A dedicated PS4 Remote Play application is available on the Apple App Store. You can download it for free from here.
- Once installed, you need to open it and log into your PlayStation Network account.
- Ensure that you are on Wi-Fi because the app will only work across your home network - you cannot play PS4 games remotely when on the bus, for example.
- After login, the app will search your network for the PS4 you want to use. You need to have the console switched on you need to be logged into the PS4 too for this to work.
- Once found, you should see the PS4 homescreen on your device and on-screen controls will pop up that you can use to navigate and start games.
- If your PS4 cannot be found - especially the first time you use the app - you need to register your iOS device in the console's settings.
Add your iPhone or iPad to the PS4's Remote Play devices
- You first need to ensure that your PS4 has system software 6.50. It should have downloaded automatically, but if not head to System Software Update in the main Settings menu. It will check and download and install the latest build.
- To register your iOS device with the PS4 manually, head to the same main Settings menu on the console.
- Now go to Remote Play Connection Settings by scrolling down.
- In there, click on Add Device.
- On the next screen you will see a code comprised of eight numbers and a countdown clock on how long the code will be valid.
- Before the time runs out, go back to your iOS device and on the "Searching for PS4" screen you will see "Register Manually" in the bottom corner.
- Click on that and you can enter the code from the PS4 itself. The devices should then pair and the PS4 homescreen appear on your phone or tablet as before.
- This could also be required should you want to switch PS4 consoles, which you can do in the iOS app's settings.
Playing PS4 games on iOS
- Before you do connect to your PlayStation 4 it is worth entering the settings on the PS4 Remote Play app by tapping the cog icon in the top right-hand corner.
- For us, the most important setting to tweak is Video Quality. The app is set at 540p as standard, but you can change that to either lower (360p) or higher (720p and 1080p). You will experience different levels of performance depending on your home network, but it's worth giving them all a go to see what works best.
- For an iPhone, you probably don't need to set the resolution too high as differences in detail won't be that visible on the small screen. It might be better suited to an iPad though.
- You can also change the frame rate in the same Video Quality settings, although that can also put a strain on your home network.
- Remember, as you are streaming locally, your broadband connection is irrelevant - it doesn't matter how fast or slow it is, only the capabilities of the home network are relevant.
Other than these settings, you will see that all the controls found on a DualShock 4 controllers are present on-screen (although you can also hide some of them). All games will work with them, but you might find some just aren't that playable with touchscreen buttons as we've said above.
Still, it's better late than never for iOS owners. Have fun.