During their keynote address at this year’s Tokyo Game Show (TGS 2013), Sony showcased the impressive capabilities offered by the PlayStation App–the company’s very own second-screen app solution geared for the PS4.
The companion app is a direct contender against Microsoft’s SmartGlass utility, which tethers mobile devices including smartphones and tablets to the console to bring a range of additional content.
The PlayStation App can transform the PlayStation 4 console into a centralized hub that can stream various types of content–including mobile games–to connected devices.
This affords a unique opportunity as users can download gaming apps to their PS4 console and then stream them to their phone, rather than having to fill their device’s memory–which is quite convenient seeing as some games can take up a good chunk of your internal storage.
Using the app users can pair a smartphone or tablet to their console using a “Connect to PS4” button and enjoy the traditional second-screen content as well as touch-screen interactivity, all of which have a realm of possibilities and potential that may revolutionize the gaming experience–and perhaps give birth to a new co-operative structure of gaming.
Additionally the companion software allows users to interact with the PlayStation Network; you can glimpse your friends’ recent activity, send and receive text/voice messages, and toggle the status of PSN downloads. The PS App can also interact with a variety of Playroom mini-games using a connected device’s touchscreen.
With the PlayStation App working in tandem with the cloud-based service Gaikai and the PlayStation Network, Sony is refining the building blocks for the PlayStation 4’s interactive ecosystem and may usher in a new way to game.
The next-generation of console gaming isn’t just about consoles: the realm has been re-fitted to utilize the advantages of smartphones and tablets for secondary gaming content.
Microsoft’s own SmartGlass app is impressive in itself, complimenting the Xbox One in such a way that affords for a multitude of content offerings, but it will be interesting to see how the two apps compare–and differ–with their respective console hosts.
Unfortunately not all PS4 games will be compatible with the PS App, as many titles–like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag–will have their very own free companion apps. As far as which games will be compatible and what mobile titles can be streamed, Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida couldn’t say, but we should see a fair amount of games made available.