OPINION – With the new system update for the PlayStation 4, there was one part of the new patch I was waiting to try out. The remote play functionality for the PC and MAC.
It is a pretty unexpected and bold move for Sony to implement something such as this, but I can applaud them for it. However, the question remains is how good is the remote play for PC? Well, let’s find out as I have tested it for the past day to see how well it works.
First things first, let’s see what the system requirements are to using this feature:
For Windows PC:
- Windows 8.1 (32-bit or 64-bit) or Windows 10 (32-bit or 64-bit)
- Intel Core i5-560M Processor, 2.67GHz or faster
- 100MB or more of available storage
- 2GB or more of RAM
- 1024 x 768 or higher display resolution
- Sound card
- USB port
- OS X Yosemite or OS X El Capitan
- Intel Core i5-520M Processor, 2.40 GHz or faster
- 40MB or more of available storage
- 2GB or more of RAM
- USB port
Well, that does not seem that much of a big requirement, so while you can pretty much run the program on any piece of the toaster, there is one hefty condition (at least for some) for remote play. Which is the internet connection that needs to be with upload and download speeds of at least 5 Mbps (12 Mbps recommended). I was able to test out the software in near perfect conditions when it came to remote play. Still I would recommend having an internet provider that has no data cap, and provides the internet that has no hiccups ( I had a few, which made the experience a bit off).
The setup and testing
After installing the remote play software to the laptop, all you have to do is simply start the program, connect your PlayStation 4 controller, and link it up with your PS4. Well before all that there is one thing that has to be done, which is a bit of a messing around with the settings. Currently, there are three image quality options and two framerate ones. The setting I used was 720P and standard framerate (just to be on the safe side of things).
I conducted the test in three different test environment with a fourth to be made in a week or so. The first was done with probably the most optimal and pointless way which was my laptop, and PS4 was next to each other connected via LAN cables to the router. This was to see how the program would work in the best possible condition, and it worked splendidly. Any hiccup that occurred was probably due to the provider.
Earth Defense Force 4.1 was the first „victim” for this testing phase, and it held on pretty good up until a massive influx of enemies, and explosions covered the screen. It became pixelated a lot of times, but the gameplay was constant, and there was only one time when the stream froze. Next up was Mad Max, a game that ran flawlessly for me on the laptop, and the input lag was barely noticeable. The one issue that was present is that in instances where a quick turn, or sudden jumps the game would lag a tiny bit, it is barely noticeable, but it is there.
My next phase of the testing was running the laptop on wireless, but still near the router, while the PS4 was wired. Dying Light and again Mad Max performed rather well in such conditions, and no issues appeared, aside from the ones previously mentioned above.
The last phase was me taking the laptop out into the kitchen (which was around 8 meters away) and testing out a rather network intensive game Tom Clancy’s The Division. I was quite surprised how the game ran, there were some issues at first, but once the stream gets stable it runs remarkably well. It was fun to play the game in front of the laptop, and it will come in handy if I need to leave the room so that my girlfriend can study while I shoot Rogue Agents in the Dark Zone.
Is it any good?
The remote play functionality for the PC is a godsend. It is a much-needed feature, especially for those who do not want to disturb the family or other loved ones that have things to do in the living room. It is not perfect, a good internet connection is required, and the lack of 1080P streaming is disappointing, but we might get that in a future update.
This feature is currently not there to provide a 1:1 experience from the PS4 to PC, however, it is a very much needed alternative to those who wish to play a bit when away from home, or when other people are hogging the main TV. A robust program and idea, that we hopefully can see in future PlayStation consoles (with maybe some 1080P pretty please!)
+ Easy to setup and use
+ Runs smoothly
– .. if you have a good internet
– Some framerate issues, pixelization, can come up
– 1080P would have been great