In the modern day battle for control of our shared TV, the PlayStation Vita has been my salvation. I want to play Destiny. My wife wants to watch The Block. I always lose this contest, so I've been playing a fair amount of Destiny using remote play on my Vita. It's actually awesome. Here's what I wasn't aware of: you can actually do the same thing with Sony's Xperia phones.
At a recent event Lifehacker Australia's Chris Jager and Gizmodo Australia's Luke Hopewell had the chance to literally play Destiny on the Sony Xperia Z3 using the PlayStation App and a small unit that clasps a controller to the phone. Apparently it's not too bad.
You can watch the video above, but here's what Luke had to say about the experience:
When you’re gaming, you want the largest screen possible to get your next-gen console fix, but that absolutely kills portability. For a figurative age, the dream has been to pack the power of something like a PlayStation 4 into a mobile console. There have been many attempts, but Sony’s new remote play feature on the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact might have just cracked it wide open.
Remote Play on the Z3 smartphone variants is something Sony announced at this year’s IFA tech fair in Berlin. The company realised it made excellent games consoles and excellent phones, so it decided to blend them and come up with a great way for you to game on a second screen in your house.
Basically, it’s a clamp that goes unobtrusively onto your PlayStation 4 controller that allows you to insert your Sony Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact or 8-inch Z-family tablet into the mount. From there, you pair your phone with your PlayStation 4 via the app and the content — be it a game, movie or otherwise — is automatically cast over to your phone. Switch off the TV and game away on your smartphone or tablet screen like a future-tech badass.
When you’ve got the screen attached to your controller, it feels like a hardcore version of the NVIDIA Shield handheld, with twice the power.
When I sat down to play it the other night, I genuinely thought it would suffer from massive lag and an obnoxious experience on a tiny screen, but I was wrong on both counts.
Sure, the screen on the Z3 is a little small for AAA gaming, but the colour, resolution and brightness of the screen makes it a fantastic second screen experience around the house, plus, it barely lags at all so you can jump into The Crucible multi-player on Destiny and still frag someone’s face off.
Obviously, you’re not going to be using Remote Playon the regular. It’s a great way to get a second screen experience if your significant other boots you off the couch to watch a show or a movie.
Personally, I’m looking forward to using it when I want to play Destiny in bed, not on the lounge, and now that I’ve seen it barely lags on the Z3, I’m looking forward to it even more.
Apparently the Remote Play functionality is limited to Sony Xperia phones for now, but making it available on other Android phones in the future is a possibility.
Interestingly, it also works on the Xperia Z3 tablet, which is even more appealing to me. My only real issue with remote play on the PS Vita is the size of the Vita's screen. When you're used to playing on a 46 inch screen, going back to the Vita is a bit underwhelming, regardless of how good its screen is. A decent sized tablet? That would be perfect.