PS4 Can Use Phones and Tablets as Controllers

Wednesday night during Sony's Tokyo Game Show keynote, Sony President and Group CEO Andrew House and Division President Masayasu Ito went on stage to talk about the upcoming PlayStation 4 console. One of the new features revealed during the presentation was an upcoming PlayStation App -- not to be confused with the lackluster PlayStation Mobile -- that can turn an Android/iOS smartphone/tablet into a PlayStation 4 controller.

SCE WorldWide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida actually demonstrated the app on an Xperia Z1 smartphone. He first touched a button to access the latest information on PlayStation Network friends, such as what they're currently playing, games they've purchased, Trophies and so on. Users can even send invitations to multiplayer games, and watch player broadcasts right on the device.

An actual video demonstration is pasted below, but the translator is obviously having issues converting Yoshida's presentation into English, and the app itself is in Japanese. However, he clearly taps on a "Connect to PS4" button that activates the virtual controls on the phone itself. In one example, he demonstrated Remote Play by loading up one of the console's Play Room AR games, allowing him to draw pictures on the phone and "fling" them into the game world.

Yoshida said Sony is trying to address the "casual" gaming market with the PlayStation 4, and that the PlayStation App is part of that strategy. Whether or not the app can actually replace a PlayStation 4 controller is unknown at this point, but console owners will definitely have a "second screen" solution similar to Microsoft's SmartGlass and the Wii U's tablet-like controller. This app will reportedly link to YouTube and social networks so that everyone can see your gaming habits.

Sony also demonstrated Vita TV streaming during the keynote, and announced that a future version of PlayStation Network will allow the use of both PSN IDs and real names. "We decided to introduce real names to encourage light users to join our world," Masayasu said. "Casual users don't mind using anonymous names, but when they get friend requests, will they accept it quickly if it's a weird PSN ID? I don't think so."

The company also confirmed the new camera for the PlayStation 4, reporting that it will feature face- and voice-recognition technology, but will not replace the PlayStation 4 controller. IGN has the full keynote video here; otherwise, the PlayStation App demo can be seen below.

PlayStation App - PS4 Demo

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  • sean1357
    Cool. I can use my iPhone and iPad to play games, but I like controller better.
  • legacyBIOS
    So this is something I will never use. I prefer a physical controller thank you.
  • Stimpack
    This is more for ease of access, and I don't think it's meant to replace the controller. For when you're wanting to type something in without a keyboard, or you're sitting on the toilet and you really want to sign in for that multiplayer match.