PlayStation update adds iOS as display, control device
Sony’s PlayStation 4 console now allows use of compatible iOS devices as combined wireless displays and game controllers, courtesy of an update that brings its system software to version 6.50 and the free Remote Play app from iTunes.
System software version 6.50 applies the PlayStation 4’s Remote Play capability to the iPhone 7, 6th generation iPad, and 2nd generation iPad Pro and up, as long as they have iOS 12.1 or later installed.
PlayStation Mobile’s Remote Play app, now deployed for download via iTunes, allows the PlayStation 4 to send display output to the iOS device, receive button inputs from a virtual on-screen gamepad, and use the device microphone for voice chat purposes, all over a home Wi-Fi network.
Mobile gaming has led to a proliferation of gamepads specifically made for use with iOS and Android devices. In this instance, those that prefer to use a traditional gamepad instead of the Remote Play app’s virtual buttons can do so.
Yet, as things stand, PlayStation’s official PlayStation 4 controllers will not work, as they do not currently meet Apple’s MFI certification standard.
Previously, PlayStation had co-opted iOS and Android devices as controllers for games distributed under the PlayLink banner — casual, accessible titles such as social quiz “That’s You” and converted board game “Ticket to Ride”.
The PlayStation 4’s Remote Play feature been in existence for even longer, first as a bridge between the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable, more recently connecting the PlayStation 4 and the now-discontinued PlayStation Vita.
By April 2016, the PlayStation 4’s 3.50 update let users stream from a PS4 to a Mac or PC on the same home network.
And what of Android devices?
Well, Remote Play on Android is already in place, though only for those with Sony’s own line of Xperia handsets and tablets, a policy active since 2014.
Whether that is to change remains to be seen, but Sony knows well the coercive power of negative publicity, having in 2018 eventually allowed its “Fortnite” community to mingle with fellow players on Xbox and Nintendo Switch. JB