PS4 Remote Play Now Available On PCs and Macs With 3.50 Firmware Update

Subject: General Tech | April 13, 2016 - 12:54 AM |
Tagged: sony, remote play, PSN, ps4, playstation 4, game streaming

Sony is rolling out a new firmware update for its PlayStation 4 gaming console. The 3.50 firmware update adds social networking features to schedule events and allow users to appear offline along with a major change that opens up Remote Play to allow game streaming from the PS4 to Macs and Windows PCs.

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Users should start receiving the console update shortly. In order to stream to PCs, users will need to download the Remote Play utility for Windows or OS X. PC system requirements are modest requiring a minimum of a dual core (4 thread) Intel Core i5 560M (2.67 GHz) and 2GB of RAM when running Windows. Mac users can get by with an even lower end i5 520M (2.4 GHz). Users will need to be running the 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Windows (8.1 or 10) or Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite or newer.

Sony recommends having a bare minimum of a 5Mbps symmetrical broadband internet connection in order to stream games to remote devices, and it recommends a connection with at least 12 Mbps download and upload speeds for the best results. Unfortunately, this rules out most DSL users, though they should still be able to play locally over their LAN. (It is not clear whether you can direct connect to the console to stream or if you have to go through a Sony server to stream, other remote play devices seem to be able to work only off of the LAN connection though so it should work.)

Sony makes it easy to play your games by supporting the DualShock 4 controller – users will simply need to plug it into the PC via USB cable and it will work as expected on PlayStation games. You will also need a Sony Entertainment Network account to pair devices and it is recommended to set the desired PS4 as your primary account. Specific setup instructions can be found here.

Streaming capabilities are currently limited as there is no support for streaming at 1080p resolution. Out of the box, Remote Play will stream at 540p and 30 FPS (frames per second). Users (preferably with wired devices including the PS4) can go into the settings and max it out at 720p and 60 FPS or dial it all the way down to 360p if you really need to play remotely over the internet with a small upload pipe.

Sony notes that not all games support Remote Play, but it seems like the majority of the console's catalog of games do.

There are several YouTube videos of users testing out Remote Play, and it does work. It seems to be a bit behind Xbox One streaming in the video quality and usability departments (e.g. no 1080p and you can't change resolution and frame rate on the fly). Hopefully Sony continues to flesh out the application and features.

Have you had a chance to try PS4 to PC game streaming? I'm now waiting for Microsoft to allow PC to Xbox One streaming hehe.

Source: Sony

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April 13, 2016 | 05:56 AM - Posted by StressedOutCat

Works great, I can play PS4 games at work on my laptop with DS4
only downside is the colors seem like washed out a bit (even 720p).

it looks much better on my PSVita doing remote play, maybe is because that's a smaller oled screen.

but latency seems small, but then I got gigabit on both ends
so your experience may vary.

April 13, 2016 | 07:37 AM - Posted by ajoy39

The games lineup on PS4 is still kinda week but they continue to nail in home streaming. You can now stream to a Playstation TV (basically a vita in a box with no screen or inputs, works kinda the same way as the Steam Link but you can also play Vita games and use stuff like Netflix on it) PS Vita (Handheld) or any of my computers. I haven't tested streaming to computers yet, but if it works as well as streaming to the first two I have to say I'm really impressed with Sony on this. Good on them. I wish the Steam In Home Streaming ecosystem was this strong, the link is a good start but what I really want is a handheld and, at least the last time I used it (a couple months ago at this point) the Link streaming did not work as well as PS4 streaming to my Vita or Playstation TV

April 13, 2016 | 09:35 AM - Posted by bidaum

Lack of Win7 support seems bizarre... to me at least.

April 13, 2016 | 11:35 AM - Posted by mAxius

it is not really i am in the same boat...

April 13, 2016 | 10:43 AM - Posted by funandjam

maybe i'm just too sensitive, but the added latency of streaming a game, even over a good wired network just kills the interest for me.
oh well, at least I only spent $50 on the steam link.

April 13, 2016 | 11:55 AM - Posted by Gammett (not verified)

I have never understood the need for steam link when at least for me I can just get a extremely long HDMI or display port cable and have not nearly the latency loss that a dedicated streaming box would bring. I do find interest in things like streaming over the internet and mobile devices [Nvidia's Shield Devices].

April 13, 2016 | 12:39 PM - Posted by funandjam

There isn't any getting around it, whether you stream games over your hardwired home network, wirelessly and/or over the internet, there is added latency. The least amount of latency will be over a hardwired home network, wireless would be in the middle and the most latency would be over the internet.

Best of luck to you with game streaming over the internet or wirelessly!

April 13, 2016 | 07:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Depending on the kinds of games you play it may not even matter. Obviously an FPS isn't going to be ideal. However, I know we've all seen the guy with like 300 ping trying to play the game for some reason.

April 14, 2016 | 10:37 AM - Posted by funandjam

Here's the problem with how people just try to dismiss the latency as "oh, its just with ftp games" or "it's just with racing games" etc.:

It affects the desire to even want to stream games in the first place. I have to try and remember that when I stream games, to NOT try any of the games that would be affected and sometimes I forget and get upset once I realize it when the game has started. At that point I don't want to switch to a different game, i just turn off the Link and go back to hte PC where there is no added latency.

I'm at the point now where I view game streaming as equivalent to playing games on my phone, something to do when there is absolutely nothing else to do.

April 13, 2016 | 11:55 AM - Posted by Gammett (not verified)

I have never understood the need for steam link when at least for me I can just get a extremely long HDMI or display port cable and have not nearly the latency loss that a dedicated streaming box would bring. I do find interest in things like streaming over the internet and mobile devices [Nvidia's Shield Devices].

April 13, 2016 | 12:15 PM - Posted by StressedOutCat

the thing I am baffled by is I can remote play with my vita over the internet to a playstation 4 (and now even with my PC)... yet microsoft RDP even over the same network has problems with running video let alone playing games.

I know its probably comparing apples to oranges.. but still.. you think functionality would have been added or improved since RDP been introduced.

April 13, 2016 | 01:46 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

RDP is probably mostly uncompressed since video compression cam make a mess out of small text commonly used on desktop computer screens. With something like the PlayStation 4, it is made to work on a TV at 10 feet away, so it is not going to have small text at all. They can use a hardware video encoder to stream the screen images as if it is a video stream. If you want to stream video between PCs you generally have to set up a streaming media server specifically for that rather than trying to mirror the screen.

I actually haven't used windows in quite a while, so I don't know where they are as far as remote use. They have generally been way behind the UNIX world on such things. UNIX came out of the mainframe world in some respects, so remote use has always been present In some form. They had a network aware display system very early on. I don't know when such features became available, but even back in the early 90's you could very easily run an application on one machine and have it display on another since the display system (X server) has a network layer. These systems were not meant for playing media though. I don't think they ever supported playing sound.

Such systems will still have issues displaying video though, since the decoding would be done on the source machine and then the uncompressed frame would need to be sent over the network. Just like RDP or VNC type applications, compression must be kept to a minimum since most application computer applications would be unusable even with mild compression. If you have ever hooked a computer up to a TV, it becomes obvious why Steam big picture mode is required. It isn't worth it to implement video compression really. If they did in a desktop sharing type application, you would be decompressing the video for display and then re-compressing it on the same machine. It is much more efficient to just stream the compressed video with a streaming media server and decompress it on the display machine.

April 13, 2016 | 03:15 PM - Posted by StressedOutCat

not sure if it all comes down to compression, cause RDP still feels jittery and laggy even when you scale the resolution back to 480p screen.. but guess it just comes to that the protocol is old and they are unable to update it really since allot of hardware based system still have to work with it.

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