PlayStation TV Remote Play functionality tested by Digital Foundry

By Stephany Nunneley
21 June 2014 17:02 GMT

Digital Foundry has called Sony’s PlayStation TV “the coolest, most well-designed micro-console available.” Nice.


According to the man himself, who tried PlayStation TV’s remote play out, the full 720p video stream “beamed over from the PS4” is rendered on-screen without any downscaling,and it features an integrated ethernet port.

When addressing latency concerns, both his PS4 and PSTV were connected to an Asus PQ321Q 4K monitor so both streams could be displayed side by side in picture-by-picture mode.

“We ran the PS4 at 720p resolution in order to match the amount of processing the display would need to do on the PlayStation TV signal, then filmed the screen with a high-speed camera at 120fps,” said Leadbetter. “We then looked at the footage and counted how many frames it took for the exact same frame to render first on PS4 before it appeared on PlayStation TV.

“With a direct WiFi connection, a disappointing 100ms to 116ms latency, with an occasional spike to 150ms. Remember, that’s in addition to the game’s inherent input lag and the latency in your display. We tried a second approach by hooking up two high-end capture cards to our PC, using Open Broadcasting Software to composite the two images into the same stream, and captured that.

“The same tests produced the same results – 100ms to 116ms delay between the exact same frame displayed on PS4 making its way via WiFi to the Vita – and the same occasional lurches in refresh.”

It looks as though there has been some refinement of PS4 Remote Play since we initially looked at it in the launch period – the occasional picture break-up we saw back then on both first and second-gen Vitas has now gone, but while there’s a sense that performance is more solid, the additional layer of latency and the hit to image quality is still tangible and only a fully wired connection gave us the consistency we needed to fully adjust to the extra lag – and that’s not really an option that will work in most households.

There’s more tech talk in the post, which you can read for yourself, but in the end, Leadbetter said PSTV’s Remote Play was “a nice value-added extra on top of the existing offering,” but fast action games suffered while other coped better than others.

“We suspect PS4 titles with higher-than-usual input lag simply won’t play that well on PSTV when the additional latencies are added on,” he concluded. “That being the case, Sony moves into tricky territory in repositioning the Vita line – and PlayStation TV in particular – by selling the devices with Remote Play as a primary feature, because the consistency in performance across all games isn’t really there right now.”

Also of note, latency perception varies from one person to the next so the performance “should more than meet your expectations as a PS4 gameplay extender” providing local WiFi streaming is on par once internet lag is factored in.

PlayStation TV, known as Vita TV in Japan, is planned for release in North America and Europe this fall and will run you $99 for the standalone system or through a bundle which comes with the device, a DualShock 3, HDMI cable, a 8GB memory card, and LEGO Movie: The Video Game voucher for $139.

Users will be able to play close to 1,000 games from launch.

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