A couple of months ago, Sony released an app for the iPad that lets you play games on your PS4. And I’ve been playing Persona 5 recently; it’s a long game that I enjoy but need to keep chipping away at, so playing that while Liesl was watching something else on the TV seemed like it might be a good idea?

So I downloaded the app and gave it a try. It seemed to work; the downside is that you have touchscreen controls, which wouldn’t be good for most games, but which sounded workable for Persona 5: you spend a lot of time basically interacting with menus. But I didn’t get around to do more than just verifying that the app can connect.

This last week, though, I was in Cincinnati helping Miranda move out of the dorms at the end of the semester; we were busy a lot of the time, but not all the time, so I decided to make some more progress on Persona. Conveniently, I’d just finished one of the major dungeons, so I didn’t need to worry too much about the interface: I can make progress in social links just fine with touchscreen controls. Assuming, of course, that playing remotely works at all…


And it turned out to work great! I opened it up, told it to connect to my PS4; it took a little while for it to convince the PS4 to turn on and connect to it, but once it had booted up, there was the video and sound right there. When I was playing in Miranda’s dorm room, the network connection was solid enough that I didn’t even get any stuttering; in the hotel room, it was a little patchier, but still usable.

Or at least useable as long as you’re not doing something action-oriented. I didn’t try a major plot dungeon, but I did do some dungeon-crawling in Mementos, and it was noticeably harder to reliably get a jump on the monsters. So if I were doing this a lot, or trying to play a game with more action, then I would definitely invest in a controller; but even with a good connection, there might have been just enough lag that it could cause problems?


Nice to have a bit of a taste of the future, at any rate: I still don’t see myself using a cloud-streaming game service, but that feels like a more real possibility to me now than it did before, a big part of me felt like the game system was right there in front of me. (And I did get something like 5 hours of play in, this was more than just dipping in my toes.) I do hope that Microsoft adds this sort of functionality to the Xbox, though: that’s where most of my game collection lives, and I’d rather not change that.

Or maybe Microsoft will say that I should stream from their upcoming cloud game service; honestly, that would be fine too, it would have access to my save files, after all. Heck, in this particular instance, that would have been better (if I’d wanted to play a different game): while I was out, Liesl was replaying Dragon Age: Origins on the Xbox, so I might not have been able to use our Xbox.

And of course the other option is to play games on the Switch or the iPad when I’m traveling (and I did use both of those as well!): certainly good to not need a network connection. But it’s nice to see the boundaries blurring, so that I can play more types of games in more places.

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