Launching for iOS and Android phones and tablets on November 13 in North America (November 22 in Europe), the free official PlayStation App adds almost as much functionality to the PlayStation 4 as the day one patch.
The PlayStation App is an interface to the PlayStation Network, tying together the Vita, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in a cacophony of notifications, game invitations and messaging. It's a direct link to the PlayStation website, which you could just visit using your phone or tablet's browser, but why? You can purchase content on the PlayStation Store, downloading it to your systems at your leisure.
In terms of PlayStation 4 specific features, the PlayStation App will let users' devices act as a limited remote for the system, waking it from and putting it to sleep, and acting as a keyboard for entering pesky download codes and credit card information. It's also what players will use to access second screen functionality, which a lot of people think is the way of the future but I think the Dreamcast already nailed with its VMU.
Finally, the PlayStation App will allow players to watch their friends uploaded or streaming gameplay videos, though it seems like all the app does is notify one that such video content exists, launching other apps to view the content.
Here's the official list of features coming in the app all new PlayStation owners with iOS or Android devices will be downloading November 13.
- Directly access various PSN features and information
Users can access their own profile screen.
Users can access/compare their own and friends' Trophy accomplishments.
Exchange messages between PS4 systems, PlayStation 3 systems, PlayStation Vita systems, and mobile devices installed with PlayStation App.
Access and filter friend profiles.
Notify users about their friends' shared activities on "What's New".
Notify PS4 users when they receive any new notifications or game invitations. Users can also display their lists of game items.
- Browse the official PlayStation website and access information
Users can access the PlayStation official website to browse through news, blogs and game information. The language and content of the website will depend on the country the user's Sony Entertainment Network account is registered.
- PS4 Second Screen Feature
Users can install PlayStation App on to their mobile devices to use as a second screen in supported games. For example on THE PLAYROOM, a title pre-installed in all PS4 systems that requires PlayStation Camera, users can draw pictures on their mobile device screens and flick them towards the TV. The images then appear as a 3D object within the game.
- Spectate other PS4 users' gameplay
When users' friends upload or begin live streaming their gameplay on PS4 systems, the friends' activities are displayed on "What's New" of the PlayStation App screen. When users tap on this notification, they can boot pre-installed applications, such as browsers, to spectate the uploaded gameplay. Users can also post comments on gameplay screenshots, footage and live streams.
- Purchase game content on PlayStation Store
Users can purchase game content while away from home and download it directly onto their PS4, PS3, and PS Vita systems.
- Use a mobile device as a simple remote to control the PS4 system
Once installed, users can use their PlayStation App to control their PS4 system as long as both devices have access to the same Wi-Fi access point. For example, users can switch their PS4 system to standby mode, startup their PS4 system from standby mode, and use their mobile phone as a keyboard for their PS4 system.