Much like Microsoft’s Xbox-to-PC streaming, Sony’s PlayStation 4 can stream games to a few of Sony’s Xperia smartphones and tablets. However, with a small tweak, you can stream your PlayStation 4 games to nearly any Android device.
Step One: Install the Modified Remote Play App
Sony provides a PS4 Remote Play app in Google Play, but it’s only officially compatible with certain Xperia devices.
Despite that, it can actually work on a wider variety of Android devices–Sony just wants to use it to push its own Xperia phones and tablets. XDA Developers forum user twisted89 has modified the Remote Play app so that it can run on a wider variety of devices. It also won’t check if your device is rooted or refuse to work if your connection speed isn’t slow enough like the original app.
To get this working, you’ll first need to open Android’s Settings app and tap the “Security” category. Enable the “Unknown sources” setting. This will allow you to install the modified Remote Play app from outside of Google Play. You may want to disable this setting after you successfully install the app.
Then, you can head to the XDA Developers forum page, find the download link for the latest version, and download it to your Android device. Open the APK file on your Android device and agree to install it.
Step Two: Connect Your PlayStation 4 Controller
RELATED: How to Use a Physical Game Controller with an iPhone, iPad, or Android Device
You can play PS4 games using touch screen controls, but that probably won’t be ideal for most games, which are obviously designed to be played with a physical controller. You’ll probably want to connect a PS4 controller to your Android device to play games.
This is actually quite easy. You can pair the controller with your phone wirelessly using standard Bluetooth pairing. Just hold down the “Share” and “PlayStation” buttons on the controller until the light bar starts flashing to put it into pairing mode.
Then, visit Android’s Bluetooth settings screen, and select the controller.
You could also physically connect it to your Android device directly if you have the appropriate cable. If you have a USB OTG cable adapter, you could use the standard USB cable that came with your console to plug it directly into your Android device, too
Whether it’s connected over a wireless or wired connection, it should just work. To confirm the controller is working after you’ve connected it, go to the home screen and move the joysticks–they should allow you to select icons on your home screen and navigate Android’s interface.
On some Android devices, the button mappings may be a bit messed up. If the controller’s buttons don’t work as you’d expect when you start playing games, you can install the SixAxis Controller app from Google Play and use it to change the button mappings. However, this requires a rooted phone. This is the only part of this process that requires root, however–and it’s not necessary on all devices. On our Nexus 7 tablet, the controller appeared to work fine when paired over Bluetooth with no controller configuration tweaks, additional apps, or rooting required.
Step Three: Set Up Remote Play
You can now launch Sony’s “Remote Play” app and go through the configuration process. Tap “Next” to continue and skip the controller setup screen. If you’ve already connected the controller over Bluetooth or USB, it should just work anyway.
You’ll need to sign in with your PlayStation Network (PSN) account. Assuming your Android device is on the same Wi-Fi network as your PS4, it’ll find your PS4 and connect. If it can’t connect automatically, you’ll be told to visit the Remote Play Connection Settings screen on your PS4. This screen will give you a PIN and you can enter that PIN on your Android device to pair your PS4 and Android device for Remote Play.
You can then use the controller–or the touch screen–to launch PS4 games. Your PS4 will run them and stream them to your Android smartphone or tablet.
You should be able to play remotely after the first-time setup, even if you’re on another Wi-Fi network or on a cellular network, streaming games from your home PS4 to your device wherever you are. Of course, it won’t work quite as smoothly if it has to transfer data over the Internet. It’ll also work best if you have a speedy Wi-Fi connection.
Sony has actually offered remote streaming for quite a while. Sony’s PlayStation Vita handheld console, PlayStation TV set-top box, and Xperia smartphones and tablets can stream games from a PlayStation 4. This trick just extends that support to almost all Android devices.
Sony has announced it will officially bring this feature to Windows and Mac, and it will appear in PS4 system update version 3.50. There’s also an unofficial Windows client. However, Sony hasn’t announced it will officially offer this feature on non-Xperia Android devices or Apple’s iPhones and iPads. This unofficial support may be necessary for quite a while if you’d like to stream games to non-Xperia Android devices. Of course, even Microsoft doesn’t offer support for streaming Xbox games to smartphones–not even Windows phones. So at least it’s something.
Image Credit: Vernon Chan on Flickr, Danny Willyrex at Wikipedia
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