Review: PS4 Remote Play (Mac)

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Sony rolled out update 3.50 today, which delivers quite a few significant features to the PS4: the ability to change your online status, notifications for when friends come online, user-scheduled events, and arguably the most note-worthy addition, Remote Play for PC and Mac.

The ability to play PS4 on a computer has been long sought after by users. Sony has answered the call, but does the connectivity feature live up to expectations?

Generally speaking, yes. It is incredibly easy to install on your Macbook (download software, sign in PSN, plug in DualShock 4), and it’s a convenient feature better to have than not to. Don’t feel like traveling to your console/TV? No problem!

Performance will obviously depend on your router situation. My router is three rooms away, and neither my laptop nor PS4 are connected via ethernet cable. I initially received drops in the connection, but they were quickly resolved for whatever reason.

What impressed me the most was the low latency. Please note the word “low”. It’s still there, and you can definitely notice it in shooters specifically. I tested the feature out with Star Wars Battlefront in a multiplayer setting, and found the experience to be decent, but difficult to get used to. Remote Play slows down the movement, making it much harder for players to be precise and reactive in such a fast-paced game.

But the lag is virtually unnoticeable when playing a platformer like Broforce. The downloadable title ran very smoothly, and no issues arose. If you concentrate on the latency, you may pick up on it, but it quickly dissolves the moment you put the thought on the back burner.

Visually, the Remote Play is decent. The output is 720p to ensure a stronger connection, which is understandable. Sacrificing visual quality for performance is a move I’d take any day.

To call Remote Play impeccable would be a gross exaggeration, but so would saying the feature won’t live up to many’s expectations. There are a few minor issues that bog down the experience, such as being tethered to your computer with your controller and the altered shooter experience, but as a whole, the addition should be welcomed with open arms – even if usage will be rare.

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