3.50 System Update
Some time ago I wrote a post about the unofficial Twisted Remote Play app. Since that time I have used that thing on a nearly daily basis, if for no reason other than the pull screenshots off of my PS4 without having to play move the thumb drive. It worked well, and honestly offered a level of game play that was nearly indistinguishable from sitting physically at your machine. It worked amazingly smoothly over my laptop downstairs and while I didn’t do anything super serious with it, I did spend quite a bit of time farming resources or doing daily bounties in Destiny through it. When I bought into the Alpha I believe it was $10 and since then he has shifted the pricing scheme to a free/premium structure. As a former paid user I got transitioned to premium, and from what I can tell the paid version just gets newer updates. However around the time I wrote my original post it was confirmed my Sony that they would be releasing an official version of the Remote Play application. For anyone who cares to know, it turns out that Twisted simply reverse engineered the existing Xperia remote play app that had been available on the android and then greatly tweaked and improved the net code. The improvements were not insignificant, and I honestly doubted that the official app release would even come close to the performance of the Twisted client.
I am guessing the existence of this unofficial dark horse client lit a fire under Sony and maybe caused them to improve their product offering to compete. As of this morning the 3.50 system update is available for the PS4 and with it brings the official client that you can download here. Out of the box it honestly performs like shit. The default is 540p 30fps and using your PSN account to find your machine over the internet. However if you kill the client and relaunch it, you will notice a settings box down near the bottom on the left hand side. I found that if I cranked up the resolution to 720p and the frame rate to High it also changed the way the application worked. Instead of finding your machine over the internet, it instead looked for it on your local network and as a result greatly improved the performance. Granted my tests this morning were over a wired connection straight into the same router my PS4 was connected to, but I have to say the performance was reasonable. I am not 100% sure if it is quite as smooth as the Twisted client, but it was absolutely playable. I popped into Destiny and ran around the planet working on some bounties and while it felt like at times there was maybe a tiny bit of lag in the input… it was absolutely playable. If you are doing anything serious at all I would still highly suggest sitting at your machine and just playing like Sony intended… however if you want to chill out from a laptop I have a feeling that the experience will be comparable to the Twisted client.
All of this said… I really hope that the Twisted client updates and gets fixed. There were a lot of interesting things that he was doing that I want to see continued. For example he was doing some work with emulating a Dualshock 4 controller with a Keyboard and Mouse. Now it wasn’t quite there yet but it worked “well enough” to play around with on bounties and such in Destiny. The other thing that I would love is for him to figure out how to pass through the Microphone input to the remote play application allowing folks to hang out and talk on PSN party chat while playing remotely. I also feel like Twisted is going to ultimately support complaints with his client far better than Sony will. PSTV for example is a mess and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of fixing it… given that they officially cancelled the product. I feel like the PC and Mac support here is just to be able to say that they can do this feature that Xbox One has been touting for awhile, and once that check mark has been ticked off they simply won’t devote the resources to making sure it continues to work as well as it could work. All of this makes me hope that they did not permanently break support for the method that Twisted has been connecting, because I really want to see that project succeed.