News Article

Just How Well Does PlayStation Vita Remote Play Work?

Posted by Kell Andersen

Pretty well

PlayStation Vita's Remote Play is arguably one of the most intriguing features of the PlayStation 4. Beholding the delightful destruction of Resogun while curled up in bed is an absolute joy. But if you don't own Sony's shiny new machine yet and want to see just how well the feature works, Digital Foundry has you covered. The publication's recently released a slew of test videos that really put the streaming function through its paces.

But how exactly does Remote Play work? Well, the image from the PS4 is downscaled from its native 1080p to a more manageable 720p, and then further downscaled to 960x540 and finally streamed to the Vita's OLED screen. It's therefore understandable, and expected, that the quality on the handheld isn't quite as dazzling as its console sibling. Put simply, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag will still look very good, you just won't be able to see every pore on Edward Kenway's weathered face. Moreover, the conversion means that the game's frame rate is cut from 60 frames-per-second to 30 frames-per-second. Ultimately, Digital Foundry concludes that while the feature is not without flaws, it's a neat little extra for those who are interested.

We've included the image quality comparison, but the site's also uploaded frame rate tests and latency tests, which are well worth a watch. What do you make of these comparisons? Do you plan on exploiting Remote Play? Tell us all the weird and wonderful places in which you plan on playing Resogun down below.


User Comments (18)



benrawr said:

I don't have a Vita yet, but this array of capabilities is helping nudge me towards all of the already rock bottom bundle prices



Epic said:

Just watched the latency test and indeed there's a delay but this would only matter in games that require a lot of precision like plataformers and fighters.
I think it also depends on your router connection.



get2sammyb said:

Yeah, I've got nothing but good results from this so far. The image quality does drop a bit, but I still think stuff like Assassin's Creed looks great. As I mentioned in the review, I couldn't sense any latency around the house. My biggest issue pertains to the controls, to be honest. I find Killzone difficult to play, for example.




@Epic EG tested over a router connection and direct connection to the PS4. Not a great deal of difference, and very variable.

I've tried the same, fairing a little worse with an old Sky supplied Netgear router.

It works better than it used to on PS3, but it's certainly not a match for what the Wii U does.



ztpayne7 said:

@get2sammyb yes. I feel like most games are hard to play on remote play. Resogun benefits from swappable controls and lego marvel doesn't use many buttons. Is it possible with a patch to allow the vita remote play to change the control schemes?



Grockumus said:

Tried this feature with Knack, and it worked perfectly fine. It's awesome to play PS4 in my bedroom without having to take it out of the living room every night!



Ginkgo said:

Yeah, I read the digital foundry article, and whilst I am sure that all of their numbers are true, the way they worded it, made it sound like the end user experience is blurred and seriously laggy, which is just not true.

I have been using it a bit, and it works great. The screen looks good. In fact AC4 looks remarkable good, and personally I don't notice any appreciable lag. I can understand you not wanting to play competitive multi-player with it, but apart from that it works well. I really think that they are over playing the point. Personally, I love it.



eLarkos said:

Wow DF made it sound like Resogun is terrible to play via remote play.
I have been waiting for this article. So by numbers its the worst technically of the 3 but by reading comments in forums, the real world results are OK.

Hard to say if OK is good enough for me. I don't care about image quality at all, its the latency that has me concerned as I'm a big player of fighting games and platformers.

Glad to hear people are satisfied. Whether that's a honeymoon opinion or not, only time will tell.




Digital Foundry have it pretty much spot on.
It's playable. But pay attention to their remarks about image latency vs control latency. You could sit and use the Vita as a controller for the PS4 quite easily, the image displayed on the Vita is a little laggy compared to the Vita controls.

Again, not unplayable, but not up to what the Wii U does.



irken004 said:

As long as you have a good signal the latency is fine, I've been playing KZ multiplayer, blacklight retribution and AC4 on remote play occasionally and the lag is hardly noticeable. I also tweaked a few settings to help my signal strength.



InsertNameHere said:

A co-worker uses RP to play Shadow Fall multiplayer at work and he manages just fine, which is incredible because the wi-fi is terrible.

Slightly off-topic: I can't wait until Bayonetta 2 is released, so that I can do a comparison of off tv play and remote play. From what I've seen on YouTube, RP is far superior, but I want to confirm it for myself.



charlesnarles said:

Battlefield 4 is kinda too hard to play online, at least at my 5mb/s bandwidth. AC4 looks great too, but again its kinda hard to counter cause of the millisecond delay. I feel like if you plugged a ps4 directly into a 10mb/s+ modem and sat really close it might perform better. It can only get better, right?



Ginkgo said:

@BornOfEvil 'A co-worker uses RP to play Shadow Fall multiplayer at work". lol I have to ask, what do you do that lets you play the Vita at work?! Great job.



chadders77 said:

Hi people,

Ok, so I got my ps4 friday, i'm in the uk, and installed the update 1.51 so I could try RP and these are my initial thoughts.

Firstly, for those who don't have both consoles, the ps4 and vita, there are a couple of ways to connect the two.  Directly, console to console and over your wireless network.  If I understand it right, the later doesn't use your internet, just your router to send the signal.  Please correct me if this isn't the case.

I have virgin fibre BB, which give a speed of 120mb/s D/L and around 11mb/s upload using there superhub 1 with an added booster/extender upstairs. 

Theres 2 settings in the ps4 settings menu for the vita, enable remote play and connect directly with the PS Vita. This is where my first problem lies as you are unable to change these settings while using RP???  The wireless signal on the superhub is rubbish which means I dont get a good signal upstairs in the bedroom without the booster and the ps4 direct connection signal strength/distance is even worse so being able to change these settings while using RP would mean I could use direct connect in the living room and be able to change to wifi when going to bed without having to mess around putting the downstairs tv on just to change the connection option.  Am I missing something here or is this a problem for others, please comment??

I have now decided to disable the direct connection option so I dont have to mess around changing between the 2 when going to bed, so bear this in mind.

The game im using is Knack on disc.

The picture quality is fine, I believe its compressed but I don't find this a problem what so ever when you have a good connection.

This is where my next issue is as the connection is so unstable the whole experience is up and down all the time. I don't know if this is just my experience or if this is a common issue but some feedback would be appropriated by other users. Dont get me wrong, I can use it but between stuttering, jumping and frames loss its very frustrating. The sound also seems to be behind the video, so you see someones mouth move before you hear them.

The video/story sections seem to be, on the whole, ok, buts the issues mainly are when playing. I read on some website that RP may use the PSN service in some way as people were having trouble using it when the network crashed, but im not convinced this is correct??

Infact when the network was down, I managed a full match of the fifa 14 demo with no issues??

 I think in large, my experience could be down to the superhub wireless signal problems and I think im going to update my router to the new superhub 2, for £50 as an upgrade, as this is supposed to be much better for wifi, but I just wanted to share some thoughts and this wouldn't explain why this occurs when im sat right in front of the thing in the living room.

As it is, it works, but im just concerned this is how it will stay. I bought the vita as a stand alone console but also for RP with the ps3, which never really happened. Is this the way it will be with ps4 and its just another promise Sony can't deliver. 

Looking forward to hearing other peoples experiences with RP and ill update when/if I update my router if the problems are solved.




Deadstanley said:

With my experiences using remote play they've been 99% positive. I only get input latency when I utilize my LAN versus the direct connection, and even then it's not a high latency. When I use the direct connection mode, I'm sitting in the same room as the PS4, so there's no signal obstruction.

I've only ever had problems where I'll get a consistent 1 minute of lag bursts. After that it clears up. It's usually something I notice when my home's wireless network is in use. I think I may need to change the broadcast channels of my routers so they don't interfere with that of the PS4.

I think it the system link could use some work though. You can't externally reprogram the Vita buttons to correspond with whatever game you're playing. I'm also hoping there's some room to improve on connectivity issues.

I tried playing Warframe through the Vita and was happy to see that the developers must have written a different button mapping to accommodate this mode. I didn't have to hold down R2 to fire, they reprogrammed it to R1. Likewise though I couldn't find a way to "look down sights" for aiming, but that's not a deal breaker for me.



Bisdak said:

There is significant latency on PS Vita remote play. It has something to do with the encoding hardware limitation. The PS Vita remote play is no Nvidia Shield nor Wii U. It's more of a novelty. If you plan on playing FPS games like COD: Ghosts & BF4 via PS Vita remote play then you'll lose. The frame rate limits (30 fps) as well as the latency will kill you. Games like Knack & AC4 should be fine but not FPS. Even the PS Vita's remote play on LAN (local area network) is no match to Nvidia Shield game streaming much more with the Wii U off TV play (either direct to console WiFi or via a router WiFi connection). You can have the best Google Fiber gigabit connection out there but it won't improve things when there's an encoding hardware limitation involved. This is a fact - the PS Vita's remote play is inferior compared to Nvidia Shield & Wii U. This is not that hard to accept even for a Playstation fanboy as the PS4 is still a powerful game console. It just that the PS Vita was not designed mainly for remote play (it's also lacking L2, R2, L3 & R3 buttons) but you still have use for it such as in-game minimap screen. If remote play is a deal breaker for you in getting a PS4 (like me) then get a Wii U. It's small to carry with you during travel without the need of a TV.




Superhubs are pretty useless. If possible, I'd very much recommend getting a £50 Netgear router, disabling the Superhub's wifi and use the router instead.
I did this at my old place when Virgin forced the Superhub after the speed upgrade. Well worth it!

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