New PS4 Update Enables Streaming to All Android Devices and Boosts Parties
In the current update of firmware for PS4, released by Sony recently, one should notice two major features. The first is boosting local parties up to 16 participants. And the second, probably even more impressive, is a newly-added ability to stream video to Android smartphones.
The Ecosystem Is Dead, Long Live the Ecosystem!
Not that Sony PS4 was totally incapable of that before. But the only smartphones supported by PS4 were (surprise!) Sony Xperia ones. The feature had a logical name PS4 Remote Play, pointing out to some ecosystem formed by Sony devices. In 2019, though, it became clear that the idea failed. If Sony hoped to attract a loyal audience to its phones by exclusive features, this didn’t help – just like it happened before to Windows Phone models, despite fully-fledged Microsoft Office and other exclusives meant to bind it to desktop Windows.
Well, if the ecosystem within Sony products obviously didn’t hit it, it should be widened. With definitely no hope to revive Xperia series whose sales decrease from year to year, Sony decided to focus on PlayStation. It’s still the most popular eighth-generation console, selling over 100 million pieces – more than its closest rivals, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, in total. As for Xperia phones, they become more and more a fan product, made for a small niche, not for the mass market. So, admitting its inability to beat Samsung, Huawei, or even Xiaomi, Sony decided to collaborate instead.
It’s even more important right before the launch of PlayStation 5. More cloud-based than any other console, it will actively use PlayStation Now services. All of the innovations introduced in the 7.0 update will probably be a part of the original PS5 functionality by default.
How It Works
When you update your PS4 to the latest firmware version, you will be able to connect your Android phone or tablet, regardless of its manufacturer. The major requirement is Android 5.0 or above. To enable remote gaming, you also have to install Remote Play app by Sony from Google Play.
As Sony clouds are involved in the streaming process (similar to xCloud by Microsoft), it’s recommended you hardwire your PS4 to LAN and provide sufficient bandwidth with your plan. Your smartphone should be online as well. There is a bonus for Android 10 users: they can connect DualShock controllers to their devices via Bluetooth now. A similar feature was recently introduced in iOS 13, but it enabled both DualShock and Xbox One controllers.
As for Parties, now a player can invite up to 15 other players. There is also a chat transcription feature, cloud-based as well. You can report abusive language if you hear any, and the transcript will confirm that.