2.10.2009

A Newly Discovered Feature of the PS3

I'm still discovering new features of my PS3, after owning one for about 4 months. Some features I am aware of, but can't fully take advantage of. For example, I can't play any games in high-definition because I do not yet own an HD-TV. Likewise, while I have rented one Blu-Ray movie, I don't really see the point until I have a better TV. After all, without an HD-TV and an HDMI cable, the picture doesn't really look better.

What I've recently discovered about the PS3, though, is an interesting little feature: the Remote Play ability to control your PS3 via a PSP. I don't know how many people actually own both of these devices, but their connectivity is pretty simple and, well, powerful. First you connect them via the USB cable, which basically registers your PSP with that particular PS3 system and lets them recognize each other. Then there are a couple of ways to get into controlling the PS3 with the PSP. The slightly more convoluted way is to power on the PS3, go to Network icon on the XMB, and set it manually to Remote Play. Then, do the exact same thing on the PSP and you're all set. What I think is the cooler way is to change the PS3 settings so Remote Play also enables a remote start. This way, if your PS3 is in standby mode and the TV is in use, you can turn it on and use it with the PSP without messing with the TV.

Ok, so you can turn on the PS3 with the PSP. What else can you do? Perhaps one of the best uses of this feature is watching video clips stored on the PS3 remotely. This is pretty good for me too, since I'm not really losing much quality because I only have a standard-definition TV. Less significantly, you can use the PSP's mobility to watch videos away from the living room (or wherever the TV is). I'm also not certain, but I believe a handful of PS3 games allow for Remote Play. I'll have to check on that.

I also love that PS1 games, as well as at least one PlayStation Network title, can be played remotely. I tested PixelJunk Eden, since it's the only PSN title I own, on the PSP. While it doesn't work nearly as smoothly or look as good as on a TV, it's still more than possible to play it. Remote Play is also particularly well-suited to playing old PS1-era RPGs. I've had an itch recently to play through Final Fantasy IX, which is one of the few Final Fantasy games I've neglected. The slower pace and lack of intense action makes games of this type easier to play remotely than more fast-paced games.

Which brings me to my biggest complaint about Remote Play: there is a noticeable lag when accessing the PS3 through the PSP. Since you're not using the PS3 directly, but instead over a wireless network, it's inevitable that a little of the finesse, of the near-instantaneous response time will be lost. This is why games like FFIX work so well remotely, while a 2D fighter might be a little more difficult. A second minor problem is that the PSP battery life was short enough on its own. By using the wireless connectivity constantly during Remote Play, it just runs down that much faster. So you can't expect to use this feature for an exceptionally long stretch of time.

This is a nice little addition to the PS3's feature set. It feels more useful than other handheld-console connections (such as GBA-GameCube), perhaps because the feature is not tied to a specific game. Instead, you have full access to the PS3, and can do pretty much anything you would normally. It's also very advantageous if you live in a household where the television is shared. If someone is watching a TV show, but you really want to play through the next dungeon in FFIX or start downloading a new demo, you can still do it peacefully. Just set the PS3 to standby, boot up the PSP, and go to town. Remote Play may not be perfect, but in certain situations it feels just right.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another cool feature that can be accessed through the PSP is the media sharing function. Establish a media sharing link between your computer and your PS3. The shared media can then be accessed by the PSP. I store over 500gb of movies and music on my computer that watch on my PSP when traveling.

Daniel Primed said...

I have tried out Remote Play a litle before and found the lag problem to be quite concerning.

The other features seem pretty cool, like the shared media and so forth. Personally though I would be happy if the console didn't have these features in exchange for backwards compatibility with the PS2.

Marcus said...

What the hell is wrong with you people. If this isn't news to you; oh well! Just go do something else. Why waste your time insulting the guy?

Anonymous said...

There are only a few more games that work with remote play like Poker and Bejeweled 2. You can also access YouTube via remote play since the PSP can't by itself.

Anonymous said...

You are all a bunch of freaking tools

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this article I knew most of it but I'm sure there are people out there that learned something new or just enjoyed reading it. It's too bad so many rude people found it necessary to insult you because it wasn't informative enough for them personally. If they were smart enough they would realize by "Newly Discovered" you meant new to you not new to them. But they probably only think about themselves 24/7.

dleacock said...

jesus...calm down everyone

Benjamin said...

So the guy is a little behind the curve, that doesn't mean you need to bash him. I liked the article and I'm sure some people out there are not aware of this feature.

mikePS3 said...

technically anonymous is behind in the world because the author has clearly used remote play and liked it so much that he put an article out on this site so until anonymous has a past article already out explaining remote play then stop bashing. as 4 the article i use remote start all the time because my tv is shared andwhen i do use it some of my friends have never seen anything like that and its cool showing someone new features of the ps3 . another cool feature is say your throwing a party and someone says change the song, well if u turn the audio output 2 ps3 instead of psp u just reach in ur pocket and pull out ur psp and either they can pick a song or u can without messing with the tv. that feature alone is an article by itself.

Anonymous said...

The article was posted on a rather large gaming website...n4g.com. The reason everyone is flipping out is because it is filled with rabid fanboys who will defend their console to the death. It's a sad state of affairs, but, it explains why they are lashing out at this harmless blog.

Andrew said...

Attack of the internet!

Anonymous said...

Wait until you unleash the power of PlayTV with remote play function... Over the internet, I can sit here in work and either watch live TV or a film I recorded last night, friggin amazing!! Also if you have the PSP-2000/3000 you can use its video out feature to display what ever is on your PSP to another TV, all using your PS3 as a server in a remote location..

The only hassle is setting up your router so your PSP can remote start the PS3 over the internet.. but there are a few websites that can help you through that..

oh, and all the flamers in here can go BURRRNNN!!!! Remote play is an old feature, but that doesn't take away from its awesomeness

Demiath said...

Wow, this veritable deluge of deliberately hurtful and unbelievably petty comments reminds me of why I don't have a blog of my own. That said, don't let this discourage you from continuing to write your thoughtful and incisive posts.

As for the actual subject matter of the post, it's nice to see that the PS3-PSP connectivity is a bit more meaningful and less "gimmicky" than the GC-GBA function. And your point about how PS1 RPGs are particularly well suited for Remote Play happens to be just about the only why reason I'm personally interested in getting Sony's handheld console at some point in the future (I have a LOT of FF games to catch up on, just to take one example)...

Korey said...

To those of you with reasonable, non-insulting comments, thank you very much. Most of the trite, thoughtless comments were from N4G, after I linked to this post trying to promote it a little bit. I don't pay any attention to comments that aren't reasonable and respectful. I also don't want to get into the habit of deleting or moderating comments, but I did delete those that were directly insulting and rude. Hopefully, something like this won't happen very often.

@Anonymous: I actually didn't know you could share media between your PC and PS3. I'll have to try that out sometime. I have some TV shows on my PC that would be nice to watch on a bigger screen.

@Daniel Primed: The lag would make playing an action-y game pretty difficult. And I agree, that I would trade all the connection features for PS2 BC so I could store away my PS2.

@Anonymous 2: In hindsight, I probably should have given this post a different title. I certainly didn't want people to think I was the first to figure out the existence of the Remote Play feature. A lot of my blog posts of the last few months have been about the PS3 as I discover its capabilities.

@MikePS3: I really like being able to use the PS3 features without messing with the TV, particularly if someone else is using it.

@Demiath: I just don't understand why people get a kick out of posting these kinds of comments. I think it all boils down to anonymity. I try to follow the rule of only writing things I wouldn't be embarrassed to say to someone in person. As you can see, almost all of the commenters were "anonymous." I wish there was some kind of social contract people felt obligated to follow, and just act "normally" and respectfully. For less action-heavy games, like RPGs, Remote Play makes a lot of sense. But for faster games, or games that require 2 analog sticks (like Metal Gear Solid), it wouldn't work very well. Overall, Remote Play is a nice feature, and much better implemented than previous attempts.