Will The PS4’s Remote Gaming Feature Captivate, Or Will It Fizzle?

Remote Gaming Is A Great Idea

Alright, for the first time since the dramatic whirlwind that was the PS4 reveal, I feel like I might finally have a little perspective on the subject.  Actually, I’m still pretty darned impressed with it, and the last few weeks have involved a lot of speculating on my part. Although I think Sony is doing a great job on pretty much every front, there is one aspect in particular that I think has a lot of potential.  Remote gaming.

Remote gaming certainly isn’t a new concept.  For example, Sony has been pushing their Cross-Play program recently.  Theidea is fairly simple; games you play on your PS3 can transfer almost flawlessly (in most cases) to your Vita, and vice-versa. It works well enough, and adds a layer of convenience to your game that can be pretty awesome.  However, what Sony is doing with the PS4 takes it one step further, and in theory will allow people to access each other’s PS4s remotely.  For example, I could watch on my screen a game that you are playing, pick up my controller and take control of the action.  In theory.

Here’s where it gets…complicated.

In regards to strict gameplay applications, the possibilities are endless.  I could be driving a tank, and my friend on the other side of the state, who doesn’t have the game, could take the helm while on jump on the turret to clear out a few enemies.  Or imagine a co-op game where a racer travels through two dimensions, perhaps in a manner to Ikaruga or Outland, and each player only has control in one dimension.  Coop sports games become instantly more gratifying.  If the networking behind the whole thing holds up, it could completely revolutionize cooperative gameplay.

Of course in today’s age of DRMs, online access codes and microtransactions could ideas like this really come to fruition?  I understand this is a business.  Publishers and developers have every right to capitalize as much as possible on their products, and all these things are designed to maximize profits as much as possible.  And the truth is, despite the rather vocal outcry against the rise of such practices, they are probably only going to get worse, not better.

Of course, “better” is a relative term.

Right now, even having a disc doesn’t necessarily provide you with all of games features, particularly if it’s a used game.  There is no reason that would improve if you had no disc at all.  Then again, Sony’s aim seems to be empowering as many different people (publishers, developers and customers) as possible, so maybe this could be more plausible than it seems.

Only time will tell how the remote feature shakes out in the long run, but the upside is clearly there.  We could be on the cusp of a new era in social gaming, or we could see a exciting new idea defeated by its own potential.  But it’s clear that, given proper time and resources, developers could create something special with this technology.