Disclaimer: I’m a Sony Xperia brand ambassador. I also (as anyone who has followed me over the last five years will know) play A LOT of video games. This is a logical post since I recently added a Sony Game Control Mount to my collection of gaming paraphernalia and figured this would be useful to anyone who hasn’t got around to using Remote Play on their Xperia (if you have one) as yet.
What exactly does the title of this post mean?
In a nutshell, if you own a Playstation 4, you’ll be able to stream your games directly to your Xperia phone or tablet. This feature has actually been around since Sony released the Xperia Z3 (and it’s part of the software package on the PSVita), but the Z5 naturally offers a more enhanced experience because the specs are higher than its predecessors. Sadly if you don’t own an Xperia range phone, Remote Play isn’t even something that’s available to you (unless you’re planning on doing a bit of hacking).
Anyway, you first need to download the Remote Play app from the Google Play store. (If you don’t have an Xperia you won’t even have the option to download the app). Once you have the app installed you’ll need to register your PS4 Dualshock 4 controller and link it with your Xperia. Within the app go to Settings (top right corner) > View Controller Guide > Register and follow the onscreen instructions.
Make sure both your devices are on the same network otherwise this isn’t going to work. Once you’re sure they are, hit Next and the phone will start searching for your Playstation. If for some reason it can’t find it (this happened to me initially), then you can register your phone with your PS4 manually, by selecting Register Manually. If you do this you’ll need to enter a code from your Playstation into your Xperia so it can pair with the phone. You can find this by going to Settings on your PS4 > Remote Play Connection
Now while you can just use the app and play directly on your phone by swiping, it really is best to connect your controller using something called the Game Control Mount GCM10 which is my latest acquisition.
Your phone sticks to the piece at the top…
and the controller fits into the mechanism at the bottom.
If you don’t want to use the Dualshock controller, you can just use the onscreen controls but (as I discovered quite quickly) this isn’t really my first choice as they take up a lot of space on the screen and things like R1/2 and L1/2 just aren’t incorporated very well. It’s really difficult to play games that require quick reflexes like this as well.
And well… that’s it.
It really is as simple as that. Once you get it all set up it’s surprisingly intuitive. It’s also quite responsive and works pretty well although the lag increases the further you move away from your device.
- Great if you’re in a household where more than one person wants to watch the TV at the same time. You can connect to your phone and carry on playing your game while they watch TV.
- If you have a decent router then the streaming quality is pretty good. If you have a very fast connection you can even set it to high video quality (you’ll find this in the Remote Play app settings).
- The Game Controller Mount is a nice (and I think essential) addition to this set up. You really should invest in one if you’re going to take advantage of this.
- If you only have a single controller, then don’t connect your controller right away – you might need to do a couple of extra steps on your actual Playstation 4 and if you connect your controller right away you’ll need to then disconnect it in order to finish the setup.
- Occasionally for some reason my Xperia wouldn’t connect to my PS4 because apparently my (fibre) internet connection was too slow (WTF seriously?). This was solved by rebooting my PS4 which worked but it was annoying nevertheless.
- If you don’t have WiFi throughout your house, this isn’t really for you as you need a fairly consistent connection in order to get the most out of this app and if you move too far away from your PS4 you’ll lose the connection. You can theoretically connect with your PS4 when you’re away from home, but I’ve never really had much luck in this regard (ever actually so it’s difficult to comment here), but I imagine the data demands must be quite substantial and you’d go through it quite quickly. Plus of course the speed isn’t going to be great.
Sure yes I’m an Xperia ambassador, but this is actually something I enjoy using. It’s also quite useful because I have kids and it means I can let my son use the Remote Play feature to continue playing games while we watch the TV without getting into an argument about it – he’s happy to move over to a different device if it means he can carry on playing. It’s unfortunate that it’s only available on Xperia devices because I think it would be a great feature for any Playstation owner regardless of the phone they have.