You’re probably wondering how it performs, and in order to show you, we prepared two comparisons.
The first uses screenshots of Evolution Studios’ Driveclub. It’s one of the most visually impressive games on PS4, so it’s good material to see how remote play performs in the field of pure visuals.
The screenshots below are in order native PS4, remote play with “high” resolution settings (720p), “medium” settings (540p) and “low” settings (360p) from left to right. All screenshots are lossless PNG to achieve the best possible fidelity. If you have a slow connection, give them time to load. They’re big files.
The second comparison is a video one, and adds frame rate to the equation. The client has two settings. Standard (advertised at 30 FPS) and High (60 FPS).
All combinations of resolution and frame rate settings are included in the video. We used Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 for the comparison, and not just for the sake of eye candy (which never hurts); but mostly because it’s a recent game that runs at full 1080p and 60 FPS.
Of course, make sure that the video is set to run at 1080p/60 FPS before watching.
Unfortunately YouTube applies significant compression to videos, meaning that the comparison won’t be perfect. If you want better quality, you can download a much less compressed copy of the video here, and watch it on your own PC.
The conclusion is fairly easy to draw: remote play performs quite well, and can look quite good, if you keep resolution to high settings and as long as your network is solid. I didn’t notice large frame rate problems over a local home network. FPS figures appears rather solid when set to high, and games that run at 30 FPS obviously don’t even need that.
If you drop resolution to 540p, visuals start to suffer, and games look quite bad at 360p. I wouldn’t advise using this last setting unless your connection is really lacking, or you’re playing on a really small screen.
We can also notice a small but visible loss in color saturation, which is a pretty usual side effect of compression.
We tested the feature on two different rigs: a relatively recent one with an Intel Core i7 4790K, a GTX 970 and 32 Gigabytes of RAM, and a much older one with an AMD Phenom X4 965 BE, a GTX 460 and 8 Gigabytes of RAM. There were no noticeable differences in performance between the two systems.