Earlier this month, Sony released a new firmware update for its PlayStation 4 console. That update, in tandem with a newly released iTunes app, gives PS4 owners the ability to stream games on their iPhones and iPads.
It’s been reported that The PS4 Remote Play allows users to stream at 360p, 540p, 720p, and 1080p resolution. However, players can only stream at 1080p with a PlayStation 4 Pro. The app also lets players decide if they want to stream games at 30 or 60 frames per second.
However, while the ability to play PS4 on the go is awesome, there are a few drawbacks that take some shine off the apple.
The Limitations to Streaming PS4 Games on iOS
So, the first limitation to streaming PS4 games on Apple mobile devices is a lack of DualShock 4 controller connectivity. This is a problem because a lot of top-tier PS4 games really require the use of trigger buttons. An MFi controller can be synced to iPhones and iPads but with a starting price of $49.99, third-party options are kind of pricey.
Players can play PS4 games with on-screen control but that’s an awkward solution on even the biggest iPhones.
The PS4 Remote Access also only allows players to stream games when connected to a Wi-Fi network. Apparently, Sony decided LTE speed isn’t sufficient to give players stable gaming experiences. Ars Technica reported that even with Wi-Fi, input lag issues make playing fast-paced action games untenable.
It’s also worth noting there is an Android version of the PS4 streaming app, but it’s only available on a select few devices. However, Sony could find success with its new app if it changes its strategy.
How Sony Could Cash In on the Retro Gaming Craze
Nintendo has effectively become the Netflix of 8-bit gaming thanks to its Switch Online service. Sony tried to break into the nostalgia gaming market with the release of the PlayStation Classic. Sadly, Sony neglected to offer a range of beloved games on the system, it was not well-received by hardcore fans.
If Sony were to make its PS One Classics available via the PS4 Remote Access app, they could attract the interest of retro gamers. Players who might be interested in playing games like “Syphon Filter,” “Sypro,” and “Castlevania: Symphony of the Night” on their iPhones. Because those games are less resource intensive than PS4 titles, they also might be streamable via cellular data.
Sony pitching consumers a classic games library sounds a lot better than subpar streaming of some PlayStation 4 games.
The Future of Gaming is Streaming
Though the PS4 Remote Access iOS app leaves a lot to be desired, its existence is encouraging. This is because the future of gaming isn’t in consoles, it’s in streaming. The president of Nintendo has even publicly acknowledged this reality.
“Fortnite” and “Apex Legends” have become massive, era-defining successes. Their capacity to connect gamers from across the world is unparalleled. Moreover, their games-as-a-service revenue model is bringing in billions of dollars for Epic Games and Electronic Arts. If they don’t want to be left behind, legacy platforms will have to adapt.
Sony’s latest foray into the mobile gaming market is a bit clunky. But if the corporation puts the proper resources into development, they might come to rule gaming’s latest frontier.