I've been putting off buying a PS4 for a while now. I have a powerful PC gaming rig (that barely gets used), and another even more powerful one in the final stages of building. So why am I going to treat myself more and buy a PlayStation 4 in a couple of weeks? Because I can totally see myself using PS4 Remote Play and one of Sony's new Z3 phones or tablets to play PS4 games around my house.
Campbell Simpson travelled to Berlin and IFA 2014 as a guest of Sony Mobile Australia.
I gave Remote Play a quick whirl on a Sony Xperia Z3 at IFA 2014, and came away so impressed. When it works — in a location with good Wi-Fi, with a fast enough throughput and as little wireless interference as possible — it is almost entirely lag-free and seamless. Tap the controllers' joysticks and movement is replicated on-screen nearly instantly. Everything runs through the PlayStation app on the Z3, which detects when you're on a compatible smartphone and unlocks that near-to-live second screen gaming functionality.
Clamp the phone onto Sony's suction cup Game Control Mount GCM10, clamp that mount around your PS4's DualShock 4 controller, and load the app. As long as you're on the same Wi-Fi as your PS4 is, you're ready to go. You can, of course, just use the Z3 as a second screen to watch whatever your mate is playing, as well as purchasing and setting downloads on your PS4 in the same way as the standard incarnation of the PlayStation app allows.
Alongside the Xperia Z3, the Xperia Z3 Compact and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact are also both supported. If you, like me, are tossing up which one would be best suited for PS4 Remote Play, you have the option of identical processing hardware and 5.2-inch, 4.6-inch and 8-inch screen sizes.
While it's tempting to go all-out and opt for the largest screen possible, I tend to think that the Z3 Compact makes the most sense — you want a vaguely portable device clipping onto your DualShock 4, don't you? The slightly-smaller-than-the-controller size of the Compact might turn purists off, so let's maybe split the difference and choose the full-sized Z3.
Yeah, I think there's a white Destiny PS4 bundle out there with my name on it. Sign me up.