Last week Sony finally announced PlayStation 4 – the successor to the seven year old PlayStation 3 – and while a lot of details were discussed, there was one aspect of the event that caught my eye the most; Remote Play.
Remote Play grants anyone who owns both a Sony home console and gaming handheld the ability to interact with certain aspects of the former while using the latter. In a very basic sense, it allows you to control your PlayStation 3 with your PlayStation Vita.
Ask any PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable or PlayStation Vita owner who has tried to utilise Remote Play at least once and they’ll probably turn around and say it’s laggy, mundane and a little pointless. Speaking from my own experience Remote Play, even with the powerful Vita, is cumbersome and frustrating. What’s more, the number of developers who make use of the feature is minimal.
With PlayStation 4, Sony are really pushing Remote Play in the hopes of giving its home console/gaming handheld cross compatibility service a new lease on life. During last weeks event the PlayStation 4 game Knack was shown streaming to a Vita. This is where Sony see the future of Remote Play, giving the ability to stream any of your PlayStation 4 games direct to your Vita.
While Sony have undoubtedly flirted with the idea of using a second screen to stream your console games to in the past, Nintendo have recently been the ones to really push the dynamic to the forefront with its latest home console Wii U. At any time during gameplay players can switch off their TV set, or change the channel, and continue to play their game uninterrupted directly on the GamePad, the system’s unique controller with a built-in touchscreen. It’s easy and intuitive, and doesn’t require buy-in into a separate second device.
However, this doesn’t appear to present an issue to Sony, who are so insistent Remote Play become a major selling point for both systems going forward. Already, the company are making the lofty promise that majority of PlayStation 4 games in the future will be capable of being streamed direct to your Vita.
If Sony can pull it off, and ensure the process is as easy and intuitive as the Wii U/GamePad dynamic and developers get on board to implement the feature, it will no doubt be a huge pull for the company.
Here’s how; if Remote Play continues to rely on a wireless broadband connection then there hopefully won’t be the same restrictions in how much proximity you need to your PlayStation 4 (aside from being in your house, obviously) like with Wii U, and the feature will just work. Further, allowing gamers to make the switch by-way of an easy-to-use in-game application then it tears down any and all walls concerning accessibility currently plaguing Remote-Play.
However, there is that old chestnut of consumers needing to buy into the PlayStation Vita experience, one that currently isn’t cheap. Outside of a permeant price-cut in its native Japan, Vita continues to hold a relatively high price of entry, and one many consumers won’t be willing to pay unless Sony really goes out of their way to deliver something outside of what the Wii U already delivers.
What say you? Is Sony asking a little too much with their future Remote-Play plans? Does the idea of streaming your PlayStation 4 games direct to your Vita sound tempting? Let us know in the comments below!
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