Sony's dual release of the "PS4 Remote Play" in the iOS store and the 6.50 firmware update for PlayStation 4 systems on Thursday, March 7th, officially adds support for remote play of the system's games from iPhone and iPad devices for the first time.
While Remote Play has been available as a feature for years - allowing users to stream games to their Windows or Mac computers and some other supported devices - this is the first time that PlayStation games can be remotely played on iOS, a system that runs on more than 1 billion devices globally, according to Apple.
In a review of the update posted on Arstechnica.com, senior reviews editor Samuel Axon noted that the iOS launch still lacks some important features. Among them is the lack of support for PlayStation's DualShock 4 controllers, which is currently an option for Mac and Windows players.
A third-party MFi (or Made-For-iOS) controller can be used, but Axon notes that these controllers tend to lack support for using the control stick as a button. Lacking those controls can be detrimental to some games that use them often. A DualShock-type arrangement of buttons overlaid on the screen can also be used on iPad or iPhone, which Axon describes as a workable, if sometimes cramped, solution, depending on the phone's screen size.
Quality settings can be adjusted to various screen resolutions based on the speed of the connection, ranging from 360 pixels to 1080 pixels. Framerate settings can be set to "standard" and "high." Axon reported that gameplay at maximum settings showed "no issues" using his local Ethernet and WiFi network. Currently, Remote Play is not available over 4G or LTE data networks.
After trying out a variety of games, Axon called the new app a workable and enjoyable solution for turn-based or slow-paced games and praised the visual performance in tests using an iPhone XS. However, the input lag was too high to enjoy fast-paced and high-intensity games like Call of Duty.
The choice to add support to iOS devices has surprised some Android users. Sony has limited Remote Play to a relatively small number of Sony-made phones, but the company has said that supporting a variety of devices will play a key part of its future console strategy.