Remote Play is a feature of Sony video game consoles that allows the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 to transmit its video and audio output to a PlayStation Portable or PlayStation Vita. Similar functionality is provided on Nintendo's Wii U console, using the Off-TV Play function. This feature essentially allows compatible home console games to be played on the handheld. In 2014, the definition was expanded to include the use of PlayStation TV, Xperia smartphones and tablets (Z2 and later), and PlayStation Now. In 2016, it was expanded to Microsoft Windows PCs or Apple OS X Macs.
While seldom implemented on PS3, Remote Play is a mandatory feature on all PS4 games, except for games that utilize peripherals such as PlayStation Move.
Sony defined Remote Play as follows:
"Remote Play allows a PSP system to connect wirelessly to a PS3 system and transfers some functionality of the PS3 to the PSP system. With remote play, a PSP system may access files that are located on the PS3, as well as, play certain software titles..."
Sony later amended this definition to apply between the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita as well. The premise of Off-TV Play on the Wii U is similar in concept, in how the video game console does all of the processing, but sends the image and sound straight to the Wii U GamePad's screen instead of a television screen. Similarly, in the case of Remote Play, the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 do all of the processing, but transmit the image and sound to the PlayStation Portable or PlayStation Vita screens and speakers. While typically in reference to Sony consoles and handhelds, it has been used in different ways as well. In April 2010, a firmware update was released for the PS3 that allowed Remote Play between it and the Sony VAIO brand laptops as well.
PS3 to PSP
Interactivity between Sony's home video game consoles and handheld video game console is traced back as far as 2006, prior to the PlayStation 3's launch, when journalists noticed a PlayStation Portable icon, with the title "Remote Play", on pre-release versions of their PS3. The functionality was officially revealed just prior to the PS3's launch in October 2006, at Sony's "Gamer's Day" event, where Sony demonstrated the ability to transfer the PS3's output to a PSP instead of a television, through showing downloaded PlayStation games and movie films being transmitted to a PSP's screen and speakers. Sony announced that all original PlayStation games would support the feature, but they had to be digital, not disc-based, media from the PS3's internal harddrive. This later changed by the end of 2007, when a firmware update made it so any original PlayStation game was compatible with Remote Play, even disc-based ones.
Despite Sony's early emphasis on Remote Play and original PlayStation game support, it was used very sparingly between the PS3 and PSP, with very few PS3 titles allowing for its use. The feature was even removed from several titles before their final release, most notably Gran Turismo HD and Formula One Championship Edition. Most titles were small PlayStation Network-only titles. The late 2007 PS3 title Lair was notable for being one of the few original, physical Blu-Ray disc releases work between the PS3 and PSP.
PS3 to PS Vita
In late 2011, just prior to the launch of the PlayStation Vita, video game website Eurogamer published a rumor stating that a firmware update for the PS3 would provide Remote Play compatibility for all PS3 games when using Remote Play between a PS3 and Vita. The premise seemed plausible, with websites reporting that Sony had shown working demonstrations of the concept prior to the rumor at the Tokyo Game Show, showing LittleBigPlanet 2 and Killzone 3 supporting the feature. Despite this, the rumor was declared false by Sony, who said that the feature had to be implemented on the software side by developers on an individual basis, not on a hardware level.
PS3 to Vita Remote Play went on to be rarely implemented as well. It retained any games supported by PS3 to PSP Remote Play support, including all original PlayStation games, but was again rarely used by actual PS3 games. Only a few games supported it, namely HD Remasters such as The Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection and the God of War Collection.
"The single biggest issue, why there are not many PlayStation 3 games that support Remote Play, was that it was optional – the system didn't do much. The game has to set aside some memory or CPU to be able to do that, and usually, memory is the most precious resource that [development] teams fight amongst each other for. So when it comes down to the priorities, these are features that are very easy to drop."
Despite this, unofficial hacks to the PS3 firmware have been reported to unlock the Remote Play feature in a number of PS3 games with varying degrees of success. Games such as Battlefield 3 and BioShock Infinite have been shown to technically be feasible, though still impossible to do without unofficially hacking the PS3's firmware.
PS4 to PS Vita
In June 2013, Sony announced that all PlayStation 4 games would be compatible with Remote Play with the PS Vita, with the exception of games which conceptually would not work, such as ones that heavily revolve around PlayStation Eye use. Otherwise, contrary to PS3 to PS Vita Remote Play, PS4 to PS Vita Remote Play is designed on a hardware level, meaning that all games are automatically compatible, and it is only up to developers to make sure the controls adapt well to being played on a Vita instead of a DualShock 4. This iteration of Remote Play was developed by Gaikai, who also developed PlayStation Now. Remote Play on the updated PlayStation Vita 2000 was shown at Tokyo Game Show in 2013.
PS4 firmware update 1.70 introduced full remote play functionality for the PlayStation TV, allowing users to play PS4 games in a separate room or house, on a television set with a PS TV device remotely connected to the PS4.
Remote Play with the PS4 is available for Sony Xperia smartphones and tablet computers starting with the Z3 line, and requires a DualShock 4 in order to play games. The service was made available on 28 October 2014, and was expanded to Sony's older Z2 series a month later.
Cloud gaming and Remote Play are some of several Gaikai-powered streaming services announced for the PlayStation 4 through its PlayStation Now service. Sony has announced that, through the power of Gaikai, the upcoming cloud computing-based PlayStation cloud gaming services will make it possible to stream PlayStation 3 games from the cloud and play them on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, followed by PlayStation Vita, in 2014. Not all games will be available, but rather, Sony plans on starting small and slowly growing the collection of games over time. Cloud gaming differs from Remote Play in that Remote Play allows games on home devices to operate remotely over a wireless network, while cloud gaming refers to a game that resides on a distant server rather than on a user's device.
In 2007, Sony made all original PlayStation games, when played on a PlayStation 3, compatible with Remote Play on the PSP. Additionally, Sony has announced that all PlayStation 4 games will be playable on the PlayStation Vita. Beyond these two scenarios, Remote Play was a feature that was sparingly implemented in games. The below chart indicates instances when Remote Play is an available feature.
|Game||Type||PSP Compatible||PS Vita Compatible|
|Aqua Vita/Aquatopia||PSN game||Yes||Yes|
|Anarchy: Rush Hour||PSN game||Yes||Yes|
|Bejeweled 2||PSN game||Yes||Yes|
|Bionic Commando Rearmed||PSN game||Yes||Yes|
|BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger||Blu-ray||Yes||Yes|
|Chaos;Child||Blu-ray and PSN game||Yes||Yes|
|God of War Collection||Blu-ray and PSN game||No||Yes|
|Gundemonium Recollection||PSN game||Yes||Yes|
|High Stakes on the Vegas Strip: Poker Edition||PSN game||Yes||Yes|
|Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection||Blu-ray and PSN game||No||Yes|
|The Idolmaster: Gravure For You! Vol. 9||Blu-ray||Yes||Yes|
|Imabikisō||Blu-ray and PSN game||Yes||Yes|
|Life with PlayStation||PSN application||Yes||Yes|
|Mainichi Issho||PSN game||Yes||Yes|
|Misato Katsuragi's Reporting Plan||PSN game||Yes||Yes|
|Peggle Nights||PSN game add-on||Yes||Yes|
|PixelJunk Eden||PSN game||Yes||Yes|
|PixelJunk Monsters||PSN game||Yes||Yes|
|PixelJunk Shooter||PSN game||Yes||Yes|
|PlayTV||Blu-ray and PSN game||Yes||Yes|
|SingStar Vol. 2||Blu-ray||Yes||Yes|
|SingStar Viewer||PSN application||Yes||Yes|
|Tokyo Jungle||Blu-ray and PSN game||No||Yes|
|Weekly Toro Station||PSN game||Yes||Yes|
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- PS3 Update features (Version 3.30)
- Yoon, Andrew (2006-10-03). "Is that a PSP in your PlayStation 3?". Joystiq. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- Yoon, Andrew (2006-10-19). "Sony Gamer's Day reveals new PSP-PS3 details". Joystiq. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- Yoon, Andrew (2006-10-27). "PSP-PS3 connectivity stays away from discs". Joystiq. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- Yoon, Andrew (2006-12-13). "Advanced Remote Play functionality coming in March". Joystiq. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- Klepek, Patrick (2007-12-18). "Any PS1 Game Playable on PSP via Remote Play: News from". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- "F1 on the PS3 – PSP in the Rear View – Digital Displacement".
- Yin, Wesley (2011-11-24). "PS3 firmware to enable Vita Remote Play for all games • News • PlayStation Vita •". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- Leadbetter, Richard (2012-01-23). "Hacked PS3 games running on Vita via Remote Play • Blogs •". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- "Sony Denies Remote Play Support for All PS3 Titles Rumor". Playstationlifestyle.net. 2011-12-02. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- "Sony denies full PS3-to-Vita Remote Play". Gematsu. 2011-12-02. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- "Remote Play Brings God of War, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collections to PS Vita Today – PlayStation.Blog". Blog.us.playstation.com. 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- Parfitt, Ben. "PS4-Vita Remote Play enabled at a system level | Games industry news | MCV". Mcvuk.com. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- "BioShock Infinite is technically playable on PS Vita through Remote Play". Polygon. 2013-03-27. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- RadioPS (2013-08-21). "Gaikai Used for PS4 Remote Play On Vita". RadioPS. Retrieved 2013-10-01.
- "Sony reveals the PlayStation 4 ahead of holiday 2013 launch". ArsTechnica. 2013-02-20. Retrieved 2013-10-01.
- "Hands-on with the new PlayStation Vita". Engadget. 2013-09-13. Retrieved 2013-10-01.
- 2014-04-17, PS4“システムソフトウェア バージョン1.70”の内容が公開、ニコニコ生放送や各配信サービス内の動画アーカイブへの対応、HDCP信号オフなど, Famitsu
- 2014-04-17, PS4がバージョン1.70へのアップデートでニコ生HD配信などに対応！, Weekly ASCII
- McWhertor, Michael (September 3, 2014). "PS4 Remote Play is coming to Sony Xperia Z3 phones and tablets this November". Polygon. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- "Are you ready to PLAY? PS4™ Remote Play now available for Xperia™ Z3 series". 28 October 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- "You can Remote Play PS4 games on your Xperia Z2 devices now, too".
- "PS4 hits November 15 for $399: What you need to know (hands-on)". cnet.com. 2013-06-10. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
- Lawler, Richard (2013-06-10). "Sony will launch cloud gaming service for PS3, PS4 and Vita in 2014". Engadget.com. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
- "PlayStation Cloud Gaikai Coming in 2014 to US for PS4 and PS3 (Vita Later) to Play PS3 Games". PlayStation LifeStyle. 2013-06-10. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
- "PS Vita boosted by cloud gaming as Gaikai features at Sony's PS4 reveal". Retrieved 2013-10-02.
- "About Remote Play". Retrieved 2013-10-02.
- "What is Cloud Gaming?". Retrieved 2013-10-02.
- "Bejeweled 2 Coming to PSN – PlayStation.Blog". Blog.us.playstation.com. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- Yoon, Andrew (2008-08-14). "Reminder: Bionic Commando Rearmed works via Remote Play". Joystiq. Retrieved 2013-07-18.
- "BlazBlue Gets PSP Support Via Remote Play". Kotaku.com. Retrieved 2013-07-18.
- "Gundemonium Collection". Gundemonium.com. Retrieved 2013-07-18.
- "Next Idolmaster Gravure Game Supports Remote Play on PlayStation Vita". Andriasang.com. Retrieved 2013-07-19.
- "セガチュンプロジェクト 公式サイト". Chun.sega.jp. Retrieved 2013-07-19.
- Miller, Ross (2007-09-03). "Play Lair on PSP with remote play". Joystiq. Retrieved 2013-07-18.
- "GC 2008: LEGO Batman to support PS3-PSP Remote Play | Lego Batman: The Videogame news | PSP". Pocket Gamer. 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2013-07-19.
- Vrabel, Peter (2007-06-05). "Remote Play reveals unique features for Mainichi Issyo [Update". Joystiq. Retrieved 2013-07-19.
- "Coming to PSN this Week: Peggle & Peggle Nights – PlayStation.Blog". Blog.us.playstation.com. 2009-11-16. Retrieved 2013-07-13.
- "Retro/Grade's Backwards Battle Begins Today – PlayStation.Blog". Blog.us.playstation.com. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
- "'SingStar' (PS3) Summer Update To Add Online Battle Mode". Worthplaying. 2010-07-08. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
- "SingStar Vol.2 - PlayStation 3, PS3 game". Uk.playstation.com. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
- "SingStar ABBA - PlayStation 3 - GameSpy". Ps3.gamespy.com. 2008-12-03. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
- "SingStar Viewer Available Today on PlayStation Store – PlayStation.Blog". Blog.us.playstation.com. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
- Kubba, Sinan (2012-09-26). "Tokyo Jungle's Remote Play functionality to be patched in". Joystiq. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
- "VidZone: Free Music Video App on PS3 Today, Take the Tour – PlayStation.Blog". Blog.us.playstation.com. 2013-07-16. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
- "Zuma Review". IGN. Retrieved 2013-09-05.