PS4 Remote Play on the Vita Is an Interesting Endeavor

livingroomvitaI recently was gifted both a PS4 and a PS Vita for my birthday. I am eternally grateful for both (much to the chagrin of Microsoft, who lost a long devoted customer). One of the first things I wanted to try out was the remote play feature, which allows you to play console games on your Vita.

I’d heard a bit about it before I boarded the Sony train, but I hadn’t spent much time investigating the specifics. “Why not just jump in blind?” I thought. “See what’s what.”

My initial impressions is that it’s a really cool — albeit limited — feature that holds a ton of promise.

vitaBasically, once a link is established between the consoles, the Vita takes control of the PS4, essentially turning into something similar to the Wii U GamePad. This allows for you continually play PS4 games or use PS4 apps on the Vita. I’ve experimented a bit with the various stages of console activity, and thus far I haven’t been able to establish a link if the PS4 is turned off.

I was able to remote in while the PS4 was in power save mode while I was still in my apartment. I next left the PS4 in power save mode and tried to remote in while several miles away at work. The Vita tried to establish a link while “searching via internet,” which it said might take a few minutes, but after about 10 minutes I was still unsuccessful. I got an error which informed me that it is possible to connect this way, but my PS4 wasn’t in power save mode. I’m not sure if it powered off before I could test it, or if it just wasn’t able to establish a proper link.

It does, however, offer the ability to turn off the PS4 or put it into power save mode via your Vita. If you’re remote playing in bed and don’t want to get up to turn off the PS4 before you turn in for the night, no problem.

Even though you’re limited to a small area of proximity, the feature is still way cool. Gotta leave the room on official nature-calling related business but don’t want to stop your current GTA V session? No problem. Just grab your Vita and fire up the remote play feature. When you’re that close, it only takes a few seconds to establish the link .

metal gear solid V vitaOne minor issue is the lack of shoulder buttons. This means that the L2 and R2 buttons need to be mapped to the touch pad on the back of the Vita. However this is a small trade off when considering you can enjoy full PS4 titles while sitting on the throne. You can also initiate the screen shot feature and presumably the video editing feature, although I haven’t spent a great deal of time monkeying with this aspect so don’t quote me on that.

I plan to spend a lot more with time with this feature; It’s really cool and holds a lot of promise. If you have the hardware and have yet to check out this feature, give it a try. It’s incredibly easy, intuitive, and I think it’s very worthwhile.

In fact, if you can get your hands a Vita for cheap enough, this feature alone might warrant a purchase. Then, you’ve just gotta download the Minecraft Vita edition, and baby, you’ve got a stew going.

carl weathers vita