Sony is working on a second screen app to work with its upcoming PlayStation 4 that will let users use their smartphones and tablets as companion devices while playing, and watch their friends’ gameplay wherever they have an internet connection. The new software is called PlayStation App (not to be confused with the existing PlayStation Official App), and while there aren’t many details right now, Sony suggests that users will be able to use it to do things like view in-game maps while they’re playing. The feature sounds similar to what Microsoft is doing with SmartGlass, which lets users explore maps in Forza Horizon from their tablets, for instance.
The app will let you buy new games on the road
Gaikai CEO David Perry spoke for a few minutes this morning about the PlayStation 4’s new tools for spectators, like the ability to let your friends “look over your shoulder” by broadcasting your gameplay using the controller’s new share button. The PlayStation App will then let those friends watch the streaming gameplay footage, making use of the new console’s “always on” video compression. Finally, the app will let you buy new games on the road and download them “directly to the console at home,” presumably meaning they’ll be ready to play when you walk in the door. All in all, it sounds like a colossal improvement over Sony’s existing app, which is little more than a viewer for your trophies and the online status of your PSN friends. Sony says the app is coming out for iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets — unsurprisingly, there’s no reference to Microsoft's Windows 8.