If you’ve ever wanted to play a console game on your phone, you’re in luck. Today, Sony announced two new Xperia smartphones with the ability to use the PS4’s Remote Play feature. Of course, you won’t be expected to swipe and tap to simulate a controller on a touchscreen. Instead, Sony is shipping a device that will attach your phone to a full-fledged DualShock 4. With that in mind, this might just be the best mobile game streaming device we’ve ever seen.
The 5.2-inch Xperia Z3 and 4.6-inch Xperia Z3 Compact will both support Remote Play and Sony’s Game Control Mount attachment. Geek.com’s Russell Holly got a hands-on demo this morning, and he was able to give me some insight into the device itself. Apparently, the PlayStation app is featured prominently on the main screen, and still offers the same functionality we’ve come to expect over the last year of its existence. A Sony representative explained that the Remote Play performance will be identical to the experience on the Vita, so you can expect most games to function well provided that you have a decent WiFi connection.
In order to play PS4 games on your smartphone, you’ll need to pair it to a DualShock 4. Based on Sony’s own product shots, it appears that the controller will be connected to the phone over Bluetooth — not USB. While this solution is certainly less portable than a Vita, it is superior in one important aspect: the controls. The Vita doesn’t have enough buttons to replicate the PS4 experience, so you end up mapping buttons to the touchscreen and rear touchpad of the device. It works, but it’s clunky. With an Xperia Z3 paired to a DualShock 4, you’ll get full-fledged native control.
Considering that the Vita itself has Bluetooth support, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Sony patch in controller support as well. Similarly, the PlayStation app on iOS and generic Android devices could potentially offer similar functionality in the future. Sony wants to bring the PlayStation brand everywhere, and it’s doing a bang-up job. PlayStation Now and Remote Play are being developed for a wide variety of hardware, and the PlayStation TV will offer those features at a rock-bottom price.