The leaks were right, the new PlayStation 4 will come with companion apps for Android and iOS, unfortunately Sony’s event yesterday was rather boring when it comes to actually revealing details about the new product.
Never mind that Sony did not actually show the PlayStation 4 during the 2-hour long presentation, nor did it mention pricing and release dates, but it didn’t share that many details about the PlayStation App either. And we would have expected the company to somehow link the PS4 to its Xperia smartphones, although the company can’t really do that, not when it still wants to sell PlayStation Vitas.
The support for a second screen (tablet or smartphone) has been briefly covered during the event, with just one gaming studio revealing that users will be able to interact with the game via mobile devices. But the smartphone and/or tablet won’t act as an actual game controller, in case you were hoping for that. Again, the company can’t really offer that as long as it wants to sell you the new PS4 controller.
That’s not to say that PS4 buyers won’t appreciate a companion app on their smartphones and tablets, especially one that will offer added features compared with the existing PlayStation Official App.
The press release doesn’t offer more details either:
A new application from SCE called “PlayStation App” will enable iPhone, iPad, and Android based smartphones and tablets to become second screens. Once installed on these devices, users can, for example, see maps on their second screens when playing an adventure game, purchase PS4 games while away from home and download it directly to the console at home, or remotely watch other gamers playing on their devices.
But it does specify that depending on OS version – mostly referring to Android – the app may or may not be supported on certain devices.
PlayStation Official App – screenshots from current Android app
Just like we assumed before, the PlayStation App (which will probably be available this holiday season when the console launches) will be similar to Microsoft’s SmartGlass app, also a console companion app.
Users will be able to view maps on the second screen while playing but also watch streaming gameplay footage from other people playing certain games. Moreover, using the app, PS4 will be able to buy games no matter where you are, and have them downloaded on the console at home (most likely automatically after the purchase is made, whether the console is turned on or not) to have them ready to play for later.
We have no screenshots for the PlayStation App at this time – like we said, Sony revealed little during the show – so we’ll have to wait for the new console to arrive before we can tell you more.
Will game developers add extra smartphone and tablet features to their PS4 titles? That’s something that could happen, but gamers will need to install additional apps on their mobile devices. During the show, just one studio revealed such plans. Evolution Studios’ said that its upcoming DriveClub racing game – which will offer some sort of team racing and plenty of social interaction – will have a DriveClub companion app which will let users choose tracks, cars and setup challenges right on the mobile device of choice.
Let’s hear it from future PS4 buyers out there that also happen to use Android smartphones and tablets. What would you like the PlayStation App to offer you in the future?