Did any early birds among you stay up the week before last to watch the Tokyo Game Show keynote? If you did, you’ll have seen Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida take to the stage to unveil the new PlayStation App, launching alongside PS4 later this year.
In general terms, the new app allows you to take the PlayStation experience with you when you’re away from your console. You can stay in touch with, friends, compare trophies, view friends’ activity (including recorded or live-streamed gameplay on PS4) and access all the latest PlayStation Blog news.
I caught up with Yoshida-san immediately after the show, and asked him to expand on exactly what gamers can expect from PlayStation App later this year.
“It’s an application that anyone can download for free on iOS and Android devices,” he explained.
“There are a variety of things you can do with it. You can connect to your PlayStation profile, and send messages – even voice messages – to friends between your smartphone and PS4.
“A friend on PS4 can also send out an invitation for a multiplayer game, which you can then check on the App, and you can also purchase PS4 games from PlayStation Store. Your game will immediately start downloading while you’re away.”
PlayStation App will also offer ‘second screen’ gameplay features on enabled titles. For example, during the TGS presentation Yoshida-san showed how the app interacts with THE PLAYROOM – he drew a picture of Knack on his smartphone’s touch screen and then pushed it into the PS4 game on his TV, allowing the game’s bot characters to play with the item he’d created.
“There are many big publishers creating their own apps for their games, like Watch_Dogs or Battlefield, and that’s great,” he added.
“But smaller developers can use PlayStation App to connect to PS4 and load an application, like drawing software for example, so that you don’t have to download and install a specific app on your smartphone. It’s open to all PS4 developers to use.”
We’ll have a more in-depth look at PlayStation App in action nearer launch, but for now check out the screens for a glimpse of the interface.