How laggy is PS4/Vita remote play?

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remoteplay

One of the best things about the Wii U is the ability on many games to play off-screen, using just the system’s GamePad. It works like magic, with no discernible lag, at a full 60 frames per second. PlayStation 4 Vita remote play tries to emulate that. Bad news for those who were hoping to use the feature extensively though; according to Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry, it just isn’t near as good as the Wii U.

They did a number of tests, using all manner of different networking hardware and games, and found that the very important latency involved in Vita remote play is just too high, and gets in the way of having a good time. It’s all quite game dependant, of course – and some games fared better than others.

Killzone: Shadow Fall, apparently, has some pretty poor latency – whether connected ad-hoc or through a router on the same network. They found a 160ms latency in the remote play, which when coupled with the 80ms of input lag made it so that it would take 240ms before actions you carried out on the Vita took place on screen.

Image quality is also not quite up to scratch, with pretty obvious and evident marcoblocking and the whole image downscaled from a 720p stream.

That’s a little disappointing, mostly because it’s a feature I was planning on using quite a bit. It seems that it works – but the latency is just too high for games that require speed and precision, like first person shooters.

Remote Play just isn’t the killer feature that’ll save the Vita, unfortunately.

“However, in the here and now, Vita Remote Play is a cute function that’s useful for some games but not for others – and right now we definitely see it as a cool value-added extra rather than the saviour of Sony’s brilliant – but beleaguered – handheld,” says Eurogamer.

Last Updated: December 2, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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