Review: Turn your iPad into a Portable PS4 with Remote Play and iPadOS 13.

iPadOS 13 running on an iPad Pro (2018)
Source: Apple

When Apple unveiled iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 at the Worldwide Developers Conference last Monday, they showed us that they were adding Bluetooth support for the DualShock 4 in iPadOS and iOS 13. This got a huge cheer from the crowd, and instantly got my attention and made me wonder “Would Remote Play (which was released in March of this year) work with the DualShock 4 now?”

Sony’s DualShock 4 in Black
Source: Sony, PlayStation

When the iPadOS 13 Beta became available to test, it was one of the first things I checked out. First off, yes, you can play PS4 games using the DualShock 4 controller. You no longer have to play games using the awful controls that plague the screen. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I found those controls impossible to use. The controls fade away once the controller becomes connected and this enables you to turn your iPhone/iPad into your own portable PS4 (epic, right?). 

Sony’s Remote Play App available on iPadOS 13
Source: AppleInformed

To do this, you must have a stable internet connection of 15Mbps or more. If you have those requirements, the experience of playing the PS4 on the iPad is really cool. I found it extremely fluid, but of course, the experience differs for everyone. I connected my DualShock 4 and off I went in Watch_Dogs 2, just to celebrate the release of Watch Dogs Legion. 

Watch_Dogs 2 is a very fast paced game, with you being able to drive very fast cars, which result in Frame Rates having to be kept up. Luckily, my frame rates did not drop at all while playing. I climbed to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge, which is a graphically intensive section of the game, and it turned out fine. 

Of course, Watch Dogs 2 came out back in 2016, so some may argue that it is an easier game to run due to older tech. So I booted up Assassins Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2, both of which are far more graphically intensive than Watch Dogs 2. Both these games launched within the last 9 months. For me, it actually ran perfectly! I got to play as my assassin, Alexios, and jump throughout the parts of the huge world, taking down an evil Cult that plans to rule the world (as you do). 

There are a few downsides to Remote Play on the iPad/iPhone, however. First off, you need a good, stable internet connection. I have gigabit internet, which would explain why the game is running so well on my iPad, but some areas may not have gigabit, which would dramatically effect the performance of the game. Secondly, some games don’t have support for Remote Play, so your favourite game may not be able to run on your iPad. Skyrim, Red Dead Redemption 2, Fallout 4, Watch Dogs 2, and Assassins Creed Odyssey all worked perfectly for me (all really great games). Another downside is that if you have a PS4 Pro, you will not get the full 4K HDR experience of the PS4 Pro. It caps out at 1080p, which is perfect for playing on the go. Maybe with the introduction of 5G, Sony will enable it to stream 4K, but for the moment, 1080p is the maximum achievable. You don’t need a PS4 Pro to achieve 1080p. If you have an original PS4 that doesn’t support 4K, Remote Play still achieves 1080p.

A really cool element which I was not expecting the ability to use the iPhone/iPad’s microphone as a mic for online games! That’s a really nifty feature that I feel many users will greatly appreciate. So you can pop into Fallout 76 or Overwatch, talk and chat with your friends, kill a few deathclaws, and have fun together – all from your iPhone or iPad’s mic.

Fallout 76 running through Remote Play on iPadOS 13

iPadOS 13 is a really great upgrade to the iPad, and Remote Play with DualShock 4 support is just one of the really fantastic benefits to this update. As someone who played parts of Assassins Creed Odyssey on my iPad using the obtrusive on-screen controls in the Remote Play app, the addition of DS4 support is greatly welcomed. Back in March, Apple unveiled their all-new gaming service, Apple Arcade, for Apple Platforms. You will also be able to use the DualShock 4 to play those games, if that’s to your liking. 

I really love this feature, and as a result, I find myself carrying a DualShock 4 with me in my bag in case I need to jump into my latest game! That’s the really cool thing about this feature – it lets me play when I’m in hotel rooms or even in other countries.

The Remote Play is available to download for free on the Apple App Store, and all you have to do it pair it with your PS4. It’s a really simple process. To get iPadOS 13, you unfortunately have to be a developer, which costs $100 a year. You can sign up for the Apple Public Beta, which is free, and you will gain access to iPadOS 13 in July. Will you be playing PS4 games on your iPhone or iPad when iOS 13 and iPadOS launches in September of this year? Let us know below in the comments!

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