AAA gaming on a mobile device? A review of PlayCast

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Jonathan Greenstein

American football playing individual|Patriots fan|Aspiring author & blogger|Thinks of himself as a bit of an entrepreneur|Ever hungry mind that is always willing to share|All round swell guy | Twitter - @J_Greenstein
Did you know you can play PlayStation 4 games on your iPhone or iPad? No? Well you can now play PlayStation 4 games on your iPhone or iPad. How you ask? PlayCast – Remote Play for PS4 – £7.99 ($9.99). PlayStation 3 and/or 4 owners who also own a PS Vita already know about this function but for everyone else, essentially, it allows you to transmit the console’s video and audio to the handheld devices.
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Developer BitWise Solutions has released PlayCast to the Apple App Store to allow owners of Apple products such as the iPhone or iPad the same functionality PS Vita owners would have
Here is the official iTunes App Store description:

Stream your PS4 games to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Enjoy your PS4 games remotely, whether in another room away from the TV, or even while away from home by streaming over the internet.

PlayCast features:

• Supports HD 720p video at 60 frames per second for crisp, smooth gameplay
• Control games with any MFi game controller, or the built in virtual on-screen controller
• Very low input latency
• Play your PS4 from anywhere via remote play over the internet
• Customise the virtual on-screen controller to your liking

• Quick and easy one-time setup, start playing within seconds
First things first, this app is a doddle to configure with your PS4. It took me minutes to set it up and load up Madden 16. Turns out that Madden 16 was a great game to try out the app with as you can play the game with minimal button combinations. This was useful because if you don’t own a MFi controller, Playcast relies on a rather exaggerated set of virtual controls.
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I then loaded up GTA 5 and, low and behold, the virtual controls were as much use as a handbrake on a canoe. Turning off GTA 5, I loaded up Tropico 5 and it became the city builder I always wanted for an iPad. I’d suggest that slow paced games or games that don’t require heavy button combinations would work well with the app. I don’t own a MFi controller but can imagine that having one would make any and all games playable. It probably is worth mentioning I was using PlayCast on an 12.9″ iPad Pro. 
The one aspect of PlayCast I was really surprised with was how fluid the video and audio were. I guess it all depends on your internet connection but I suffered from no lag and was really taken aback by the quality. If you were to play a first per shooter things may get a bit blurry but on Madden 16, GTA 5 and Tropico 5 it was smooth and clear.
I found that PlayCast allowed me to indulge my lazier moments by allowing me to play my PS4 without having to get out of bed. The app works surprisingly well but I personally wouldn’t want to use it on anything but an iPad. On an iPhone (even an iPhone Plus) I think the virtual controls would dominated the screen and make it practically unplayable. For some people, PlayCast may end up being a £7.99 novelty. Others may use it regularly. I’m curious to see what you all think of it? If you have downloaded it or want more information, drop a comment below.
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Jonathan Greenstein

American football playing individual|Patriots fan|Aspiring author & blogger|Thinks of himself as a bit of an entrepreneur|Ever hungry mind that is always willing to share|All round swell guy | Twitter - @J_Greenstein

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