A closer look at the PlayStation 4 and Remote Play: How well does it work?

One of Sony’s biggest selling points with the freshly launched PlayStation 4 is the Remote Play functionality available with every title. If you own a PlayStation Vita, PS4 games can be played remotely over ad-hoc Wi-Fi connections, local wireless networks, or even the Internet.

I’ve had surprisingly solid results with the first two options, so I decided it was time to test Remote Play over the Internet. While there were a few speed bumps along the way, the process ended up being incredibly straightforward.

At my office, I connected my PS4 directly to my modem with an ethernet cable. I live in the US and have a 75Mbps/35Mbps fibre connection from Verizon, so I’m something of a best-case scenario here.

I took my Vita to a McDonald’s a few miles away, and I tested Remote Play over Wi-Fi and Verizon LTE. While the LTE connection remained rock solid, I was somewhat disappointed with the real-world limitations of public Wi-Fi at fast food chains.

I switched on my hotspot on my Verizon iPhone 5, and ended up getting full bars. This connection had a 48ms ping, averaged 32Mbps down, and averaged 6.07Mbps up. Connecting over my iPhone was incredibly fast, and offered shockingly playable results after automatically connecting to my PS4 over the Internet.

That said, the lag introduced by the streaming technology is definitely noticeable. If you’re going to play a competitive action game, you’ll definitely find yourself at a disadvantage. Single player experiences like Contrast or Flower will work just fine if your Internet connection can handle it, but don’t push your luck with games like Call of Duty or Battlefield.

For more on the PS4, see our Xbox One versus PlayStation 4 speed showdown that asks the question: Which is the fastest console? If you've bought Sony's console and are considering upgrading the hard disk, then see: Which drive upgrade is best for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One: HDD, SSD, or HHD? And when you've made the decision on which drive to go with, check out our guide to replacing or upgrading your PS4's hard drive.