updated 01:50 pm EST, Fri November 15, 2013
Sony releases official PlayStation App
Today marks the start of a new generation of home console gaming, with Sony's PlayStation 4 hitting shelves and arriving on gamers' doorsteps. Most of the hype and anticipation has rightly focused on graphics and hardware, but the newest consoles also leverage the mobile tech boom to enable enhanced second-screen experiences. Sony's new PS4 app allows just that sort of enhanced experience, connecting a PS Vita or an iOS or Android device to the new Sony console so that the user can access the PlayStation Store, receive notifications on their mobile device, and more.
After logging into their PSN account users are directed to the home screen, a collection of square tiles that provide access to the app's core features. This includes accessing the PlayStation Store - which actually just directs you to a web browser - as well as viewing friends, messages, game alerts, and any other notifications. Users can also flip through their entire Trophy collection and compare progress to any of their friends. Thankfully these features are all totally functional with the PS3 as well, meaning the new console isn't necessary to access messages and other notifications while on the go.
Selecting "Connect to PS4" from the bottom bar of options brings users to another screen that allows them to link their device with any console running on the same network. After connecting users will be able to access any second screen features enabled by developers in games, as well as use their device's keyboard as input for the system. Additionally, the app includes a "remote" screen that allows users to control a PS4 via gestures and various on screen buttons.
Connecting the PS4 and app together is incredibly simple, only requiring users to set the devices on the same network and choosing a link option from both devices. When linking for the first time users will have to enter a confirmation password on their mobile device, but after this the link can be completed by just selecting PS4 connect in the app.
While currently limited in functionality, we are excited to see how PS4 developers take advantage of the second screen feature. With only 28 titles currently available for the system it is tough to get a gauge of how well this feature will actually work. However, we believe that with time a variety of new gameplay elements will emerge thanks to this second screen feature. In the meantime, the ability to view notifications and send messages, as well as remotely control a PS4 make the app worth having for any PlayStation gamer. The PlayStation App is a free download and can be downloaded for iOS devices from the App Store.