A surprise application appeared on everyone’s PlayStation 4 yesterday that allows the console to remotely access the PlayStation 5. Here’s a quick primer on how this feature works.
Playing PlayStation 5 games remotely on the PlayStation 4 works much the same way as the feature did between prior Sony consoles. Users will need to activate the option in the PlayStation 5 menu and download the requisite app on their PlayStation 4, PC, or mobile device. From there, it’s simply a matter of navigating the PlayStation 5 home screen much like you would on the console itself and selecting which game you want to play.
It’s a neat feature, but one I expect to have diminishing returns depending on your connection strength. While this is less of a problem if the consoles are on the same network, you’ll need to rely on your internet speed if playing from, say, your friend’s house, or waiting at the doctor’s office. PlayStation 5 remote play gives you a handful of resolution options—1080p, 720p, and even 540p—to mitigate any connection issues.
I was impressed by the picture and framerate PlayStation 5 remote play was able to provide on my PlayStation 4 at every resolution option while playing over my home network. There were a few hitches despite my decent broadband speeds (300 Mbps download, 10 up) as well as a noticeable input delay, but I had little problem swinging through the streets of Harlem in Spider-Man: Miles Morales and dispatching bad guys much like I would have on the PlayStation 5.
And when you’re done, the remote play app gives you the option of putting the PlayStation 5 you’re connected to into rest mode. Neat!
While some features, like gameplay capture and haptic feedback, are disabled during remote play, this should be a great way to let friends try PlayStation 5 games while they wait for restocks or finish up a level or two of Sackboy: A Big Adventure while running errands. As someone who has ignored the feature on previous PlayStation platforms, I highly recommend checking it out for yourself.