[appicon]Earlier today we posted about PlayCast [], a third party utility that had been just released on the App Store. It advertises the ability to play PS4 games on iOS devices via the same Remote Play functionality that allows you to play PS4 games on the Vita. After waiting what felt like forever for my PS4 to update itself (I don't even remember the last time I turned it on), and the same simple setup process that the PS Vita goes through to link it to the PS4 I was... well, playing Rocket League on my phone. Or, more accurately, trying to play Rocket League.

Out of the box and without an MFi controller, PlayCast relies on a pretty gross explosion of virtual controls to do anything. It works well enough for navigating menus, but it's pretty difficult to imagine anyone actually playing a game using the virtual controls- Particularly as it seems there's no way for the app to emulate virtual analog sticks. So, anything that is slow paced, and only requires the D-Pad and face/shoulder buttons should, in theory, be totally playable with some patience.

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Pair an MFi controller to your iOS device and you've got a whole new world of possibilities in PlayCast. Fast-paced games actually become playable, although the app warns that you should have your PS4 wired via Ethernet and your iOS device connected via a 5ghz WiFi network. That's the setup I have at my house right now, so getting PlayCast cooking at 720p and 60fps (the highest resolution and framerate offered) was no problem. Aside from a few random stutters here and there, the performance of the Remote Play seems to be identical to what I've seen the PS Vita do. Much like the (currently defunct) OnLive, artifacting is a considerable issue when there's a lot of action on screen, as you can see from the following screenshot:

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Everything gets a little muddy and blurry when there's a lot of action, but again, it's totally workable. When playing on an iPhone, most of this gets obscured by the small screen size so it isn't as immediately apparent as looking at a still screenshot on your computer screen. The only (potentially significant) caveat to playing on your iPhone is it feels like the experience just sort of sucks compared to playing on an actual TV. In this day and age, a 30" TV is pretty tiny, so playing games made for a 30" to 60"+ display on a 4.7" cell phone screen is... Well, a little weird. I couldn't really find a way to get comfortable either, as it felt like I needed to hunch over my phone and get real close to the screen to see a lot of the text or UI elements which would just be normal sized on a TV.

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MFi controllers are obviously missing the L3 and R3 buttons from the PS4 controller. (Those are the names of the buttons you press by clicking the analog sticks in.) PlayCast has come up with an interesting solution for this in that you can map a combination of button presses to emulate pressing L3 or R3. I set mine up so pressing L1 and L2 together was the same as pressing L3, and the same for R1 and R2 for R3. It worked alright, but when you trigger L3 by pressing L1 and L2, PlayCast stops telling the PS4 you're holding down L1 and L2. In the case of Rocket League, this is a little weird because you use the shoulder buttons to accelerate and you click the analog stick to look behind you. With this setup, you can look behind, but it momentarily releases the throttle. I'm sure with some experimentation you could come up with a combo that mitigates this a little better, but how well these things work will largely depend on the game and what you also need to be doing while hitting R3 and L3.

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Playing on the iPad Pro (shown above) is a significantly better experience than playing on your iPhone, but it comes with the drawback of the relatively low 720p resolution and artifact-heavy Remote Play stream being considerably more obvious. Again, it's not unplayable, but it's just nowhere near playing on an actual TV. This all sort of raises the question of what use case exists where PlayCast is something you need?

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If this were 1988 and I was fighting for screen time with the rest of my family on our single TV to play Super Mario Brothers 3 on the NES, something like PlayCast would've been a godsend. I played through more than my fair share of objectively terrible Game Boy games exclusively because it was something I was always able to play instead of just something I got to play when no one else was using the TV. I would have put up with somewhat low (by today's standards) 720p resolution and lots of visual artifacts to play my "real" console games in the same way I could play my Game Boy uninterrupted.

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On the other hand, with how incredibly cheap TV's have gotten, it's hard to really imagine too many households that have a PS4 that wouldn't just have an extra TV you could hook it up to. (Hell, if you don't care about size or brand you can pick up an HDTV for under $100, or potentially way way cheaper, or even free, on Craigslist.) I guess maybe if your PS4 was hooked up to your TV downstairs and you wanted to play in bed on your iPad, that's a decent use case for PlayCast, but, eh.

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Overall, PlayCast is giving me the same vibe that the various iOS emulators that have snuck on to the App Store over the years do. Is it undeniably cool to be able to play PS4 games on your iOS device with an MFi controller? For sure, that's super neat. Is it something I'm going to do more than once to go, "Huh, that's pretty cool that I can do that?" Probably not. But, this is coming from someone who has their PS4 hooked up to a projector blasting on to a 10' screen in my basement, so for me, the overall experience could not possibly be more night and day. For what it is though, PlayCast works surprisingly well, provided you're willing to put up with a few caveats. Just beware of the real possibility that it could be a $9.99 "Huh, that's neat."

  • Woodlandstar

    You should still be able to use dual shock connected directly to the PS4 though right? So the iOS device just acts as a mirror screen (obviously have to be sat next to PS4 though)

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Not as far as I know, when you press the PS button on the dual shock controller it turns off Remote Play.

    • ScotDamn

      No it wouldn't work. The ps4 controller is tied to the system and what this app does is take advantage of ps4s remote play much like a vita does. You would need to pair the controller to the iOS device and run it thru the app most likely. And that is probably not possible in the slightest with MFi.

      • Woodlandstar

        But with remote play the is a method where you can use a secondary PS account to switch profiles, and use the dual shock (connected to PS4) with the remote device as a screen.
        Basically you log in on the remote device with account B. Then you turn on the dual shock (which is connected to PS4), and on the remote play screen it will come up with an option to pick the user. You then pick account A, and are able to use dual shock.

        This app says it doesn't use your PlayStation login details though so I don't see how this would work.

    • Migoma

      correct after a lot of trial and error I find out how to do this I am using the official remote play bracket for ds4 controller to hold my iphone to the ds4

      what you have to do is start ps4 with a secondary account and register playcast with that account then start streaming at that point your ds4 controller will be off press the ps button and select your main account thats it you'll be playing remote play with the ds4 on iphone.

  • Spudboy

    Since you can play over the Internet. I wonder if you could mirror your iPhone to a TV via an Apple TV. I'd like to be able to do that when I'm stuck in a hotel far from home.

    • Woodlandstar

      See no reason that would work via screen mirroring, if may just add more lag though

  • ScotDamn

    Off you have a vita this is all blah since having a vita is far superior to playing on a touch device. Mostly a "huh neat" sorta thing.

    • ScotDamn

      Funny I didn't even read that last line in the article. Hagaha

  • speedyph

    I JUST WISH WE COULD GET ONLVE BACK THAT WAS A AMAZING IDEA IT WOULD HAVE BEEN GREAT BY NOW MAYBE EVEN STREAMING NEW CONSOLE GAMES ON OUR IPHONE LIKE DOOM OR WITCHER 3 sighhhh๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜”

  • Kika368

    Nice Shot!
    Nice Shot!
    Wow!
    Chat is disabled for 4 seconds.

    • Tallgeese

      Haha, yay, Rocket League!

  • http://adamsimmersive.com Adams Immersive

    13" iPad Pro + Mad Catz! PS4 is now portable around the house. I'm leaning more and more towards Playstation (and VR) for my winter console purchase.

  • DemoEvolved

    Ps4 is the clear winner for console this generation

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Still sort of feels like a distant second place from just having even a mediocre gaming PC.

    • Squablo

      I have PS4, XboxOne, and WiiU hooked up in my living room. PS4 is a distant 3rd place in my house.

    • DanKetch

      I use my Xbone for pretty much everything, bought launch day and haven't regretted it yet. I have a new Alienware as well, I'd rather play on my couch and tv then at my desk tho.

    • IainsTheName

      Sales-wise, yes. And even that's not for certain.

  • Squablo

    ...........it always surprises me that nobody ever mentions Xbox One streaming through Windows 10. If you have a Windows 10 PC (Surface, Laptop, desktop) and an XboxOne, you can even stream your Xbox remotely. This is THE BEST option I have ever experienced. Even better than the Vita, because all games are supported and you can use a real Xbox controller to do it. Also, it's free. Streaming my PS4 has always given me crappy results. Every single person that I have showed Windows 10/XboxOne streaming simply can't believe how good it works. I highly recommend trying it.

    • Ryan Lloyd

      For someone like me who has slow internet speeds the VITA will always be the better option as it connects directly to the PS4 and cuts out the middle man, My shoddy router. I have tried both PS4 and XBOX remote play on my surface pro 3 and they just aren't good enough to put any serious gaming in. Both the PS4 and XBOX remote play apps seem the same to me, All the PRO's you listed for the XBOX app, The PS4 can do also. You can use dualshock 4, its free and we have the android app which is great too.

    • dudeguypal

      You can do the same thing with a PC or Mac and remote play. And it works great.

  • Hard_Squirrel

    Does the PS4 need to be powered on for this app to work? Or, if my PS4 is off and I am in a hotel on their wifi, the app will still work? Thanks

    • KHALFRODO

      Hi.
      Definately. Same goes for PS4/PS Vita tethering. Network must be turned on too. Also a fast internet speed is required.

      • Hard_Squirrel

        Thanks for confirming. I 100% do not understand why you would want this then. Unless, people leave their ps4 powered on when they leave the house.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        The PS4 has a low-power standby mode that is its default "off," in this mode it'll still listen for incoming connections, download games/updates/etc. It's not much different from most electronics these days where they're never really totally off. It's not like to use Remote Play you need your PS4 operating at 100% power consumption 24/7.

      • Hard_Squirrel

        Ok, that makes more sense. I misunderstood and read it as it would need to be fully on i.e. ready to play a game etc

      • Marco Tuzzi

        The PS4 can be awakened by the app, but then it just streams to the app what you'll otherwise be watching on the TV. In other words, the console has definitely to be on when playing games/doing whatever through the PlayCast app, since its the console that's running the game, not your phone/tablet.

  • KHALFRODO

    Woahh!!!!
    Anyone tried Diablo3 PS4 using the app yet?

  • fabianb

    I'm not even bothering to try this kind of games streaming. I would be so annoyed by the lag. I'm talking about the control lag. That lag will be there and it won't be gone in another 5 years, unless the internet speeds skyrocket to being insane fast. But for now, I know it's not gonna be a nice experience.

  • Super Blue

    Wow wow wow this is the best news that can come to iOS , ps4 on my iPhone already got it and works so good no computer needed . Man iPhone is off the hook . Now you no coming game stream clouding buy games and save it on a cloud right in our pockets ... No matter what other phone has it first it always right and way better on iOS period.... Thank you thank you developers wow ....

  • Desertmonkey666

    Anyone tried it with a wirelessly connected PS4 as apposed to Wired?

    • Marco Tuzzi

      You cant's use the PS4 controller while using Remote Play. The remote player, be it a PS Vita or a mobile device using PlayCast, act as your controller and is registered to your User Account.
      You can circumvent this by creating a second account on your PS4 and having PlayCast connect using that account; you then can turn on your PS4 controller and log as your main account. You'll be using PlayCast just as a remote screen, while controller inputs are directly sent to the console, not through the app.
      Obviously enough, you can't do this through the internet, just locally playing your PS4 without using the TV.

  • RazJUK

    I've been streaming from my PC to my Nvidia SHIELD Tablet, pretty decently on a 2.4ghz hub. Apparently you can stream PS4 on the shield but I haven't tried it. I've been playing Fallout 4, witcher 3, Crysis 2 & GTA 5 with the Shield controller in the bedroom, and it's great.
    If you don't have a PC with a modern Geforce graphics card, there is always the Geforce Now hub similar to Onlive with a subscription similar to Netflix.

    • Desertmonkey666

      I've used the Shield Tablet to stream PS4, results seem to vary. Sometimes it's fine, sometimes it stutters!

  • pkmaximum

    I cannot seem to get this to work over the internet; only locally works for me. Is there a guide anywhere? My vita works fine for remote play over the internet.

    • Marco Tuzzi

      Your home router has to be set to forward the ports used in remote play to the local IP address of your PS4.

  • Grassr00tz

    I feel the real gem to this app is the ability to play outside the home which the author doesn't even touch on. I already own a vita but who wants to lug that around with you everywhere you go? I have mine setup to play across the internet and as long as I'm in LTE coverage it surprisingly works great. I wouldn't dare try running dungeons although if I had a controller it could work but its perfect for crafting in my MMO's

    • DubsGaming

      How did you get Playcast to work over cellular connection

      • Grassr00tz

        Copied from their help file:

        Playing over the internet

        It is possible to set things up such that you may use PlayCast to play your games whenever your iOS device is connected to the internet; for example at a friends place, in a coffee shop, or during your commute. However, in order to enjoy this functionality, you must first correctly configure the network that your PS4 is connected to (ie your home network).

        You will need to configure your router/firewall to forward the following ports to your PS4:

        UDP 987
        TCP 9295
        UDP 9296

      • DubsGaming

        I did that and it still doesn't work

  • Marco Tuzzi

    Is it just me or isn't PlayCast working anymore after PS4 software update 4.00?
    I tried to register my PS4 again and the procedure works, but then PlayCast fails to connect to the console within seconds.
    Yesterday evening it was working fine; the only thing that's changed is the update to the PS4 OS.
    Is an app update coming any time soon?

    • SpacePenguinBot

      The app is no longer available in the US App Store. Seeing as this was an unofficial remote play solution, I would guess that Sony had the app pulled from the App Store. Unless Sony decides to release their own remote play app fro iOS, I'd say we're SOL.

      • Marco Tuzzi

        Oh, great! Just another โ‚ฌ 9,99 down the drain of AppStore Shenanigans... ๐Ÿ™

      • SpacePenguinBot

        So i guess I was wrong, because the app has been updated to support System 4.00 and it seems to work fine.

        Cheers.

      • Marco Tuzzi

        Still it's quite odd it was pulled for a few days just to wait for the update ๐Ÿค”

  • https://www.facebook.com/Asim.delhi Asim Siddiqui

    Bought MiraCast, works flawlessly. Bye bye TV.

  • Endo Life

    I wish this app was on Android because we don't have remote play on Android that works