Remote Play and Second Screen
If you happen to own a PlayStation Vita, the PlayStation 4 supports remote play throughout the whole system. What is remote play? It’s the ability to mimic exactly what is happening on the console through the Vita. Say your TV is being occupied by your kid watching the latest episode of Doc McStuffins. All you need to do is fire up your Vita, hit connect to PS4, and you can browse your dashboard and play some Resogun or another title. For the most part this seems to work pretty well with minimal delay. The only thing we noticed at times was graphical artifacts and such. Sometimes we’d lose the connection altogether to the PS4 depending on network conditions and we'd have to restart the connection or pick up on the console.
Second screen is a little different in that not every game implements it. Knack utilizes second screen in a great way allowing a co-op player to join in on the action with their own viewpoint played with the Vita. If the player joined in on the console they would be locked to player 1’s view, so this is a great alternative method of couch co-op. It’s just too bad Knack isn’t a very good game.
Wrapping it Up
Sony has really delivered a solid package here with the PlayStation 4. The console’s sleek form factor and attractive style, easy set up, and redesigned controller feel like Sony has returned to a past form. It does feel like the UI is in its infancy and while there’s a solid base there, several items related to organization and ease of access could be greatly improved. Thankfully, in the age of firmware updates, Sony can remedy and adapt the system based on community feedback. And with so few titles available right now, there’s not a huge rush for these things.
The PlayStation 4 isn’t leaps and bounds greater than the previous generation of consoles. We’re accustomed to consoles coming out that are graphically superior to PCs, with PCs taking 2 or 3 years to catch up; this time it’s a much more even playing field. So rather than attempt a graphical coup, Sony has opted to create a more refined and simplified experience than what is offered on the computer, baking in things like streaming and social networking directly into the package.
The bottom line is, you don’t need a PS4 right now for the games. You don’t need it for better graphics or increased friend limits. But as with any new device, if you crave the new hotness and want to see what the future brings, the $400 investment is a sound one.