The release of the next-gen PlayStation console, appropriately named PlayStation 4 (or PS4 for short), is just a few days away – and the hype is just as big as Sony had hoped. For those eagerly awaiting their pre-order to arrive in the mail, or arranging plans to campout at BestBuy until the midnight release, Sony has released a little something to tide you over.
On November 12th, Sony released their brand new “PlayStation App” for iPhones. Essentially what this application will allow you to do, is manage various aspects of your PSN (PlayStation Network) account. Features include checking your notifications, game alerts, invites, and private messages. It also allows you to check out what games your friends are currently playing, view their profiles, and take a peek at their trophies – as well as compare them to your own.
Obviously you aren’t going to play PS4 games on your iPhone, but this is about as close as you’re going to get. It is also meant to serve as somewhat of a companion while you’re playing the PS4, as you can quickly pull up various manuals and strategy guides. This isn’t exactly groundbreaking, as you’ll likely have access to a laptop or computer that is nearby while gaming, but there’s no harm in having these resources readily available on your iPhone.
However, Sony has hinted at “second-screen features”, which to me – sounds like something similar to what the Wii U offers with its gamepad. I’m a bit torn on this, because depending on how much you’re able to accomplish by using the second-screen could cause some unfair gameplay. I can’t imagine Sony will drop the ball too badly here, and they should implement the proper ground rules that won’t cause any advantages for one player that the other can’t access.
Beyond social aspects and gaming integration, the PlayStation App will also give you direct access to the PlayStation Store. For some users, this may not necessarily be a good thing, seeing as browsing the store while you’re bored and playing around on your phone could lead to some purchases that’ll make your wallet a bit lighter.
Clearly this is the aspect of the PS App that Sony will benefit from the most, and overall it’ll be a nice way to check out games while you’re on the go. One of the nicest features associated with the mobile PS store, is that you’ll be able to start downloads to your PS4 system remotely using your iPhone – meaning they’re ready to go when you get back home from work.
Currently, pre-orders are sold out everywhere in the United States, so your best shot at getting one is to either camp out and hope you score one, or purchase somebody else’s pre-order from eBay or Craigslist. Sony’s much anticipated PlayStation 4 is set to be released at midnight on Friday, November 15th – and the retail price is $399, although, buying a pre-order on eBay is going to raise that price an extra $100 – $150.