With the PlayStation 4's release in late 2013, Sony has been pushing into the living room space. And, with the development and push for remote play, the company is pushing into the rest of your life as well. In short, the Remote Play app allows you to connect your Sony Xperia smartphone to your PS4 over a local wireless network so that you can stream your game play experience while leaving most of the hard processing work to the console.
Sony Xperia vs. PlayStation VitaThe remote play function is an interesting move on Sony's part because it gives users another incentive to integrate their electronic devices. Potentially, this could give the Xperia Z3 a boost in sales, especially if the user already owns or plans to buy a PS4.
However, by expanding the coverage of remote play, Sony risks cannibalizing the sales and influence of the PlayStation Vita, their dedicated handheld gaming device. But, this risk seems somewhat unlikely because there are limits to the Remote Play app. The Vita is solely designed to take your gaming experience on the go as a stand alone, handheld gaming console. On the other hand, the Remote Play app is more about relocating the gaming experience rather than taking it anywhere. Remote Play is limited to the use of a wireless network that both the PS4 and Remote Play device share; thus, this really only allows for movement within a household.
Remote Play vs. Gaming AppsYou may think that by allowing PS4 games to be streamed to a handheld device, more hardcore games will take over the mobile gaming market and other apps will suffer. But, this is not very likely for several reasons:
- The PS4 and Xperia Z3 need to be on a shared network in order to stream any games.
- There is a difference between how users play mobile games. Gaming apps tend to be geared toward a more casual audience who play in small chunks of time rather than an extended session. Games that would be played with Remote Play, on the other hand, will be geared toward extended gaming sessions or group play.
- Power is another factor that needs to be taken into consideration. The more intensive the graphics and game play are, the less battery life a device will have. This may make hardcore gaming more difficult for mobile devices in the near future.
Overall ImpactOverall, Sony's push to add remote play access to their latest phones is an interesting move that can have impacts on the industry as a whole. By using a centralized console and letting individuals control their own screens, it gives unique possibilities to multiple user situations such as parties. It also lets everyone in a household utilize the device for their own purposes. This means there won't be any more fighting over whose turn it is to play.
But, for now, the overlap between consoles and smartphones has not gotten so close as to eclipse the uses of either.