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By 29 October 2013 | Categories: news

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Sony has announced two titbits of information, both pertaining to the PS4. The first piece of news is the  release date for its PlayStation app – namely 25 November for those of us south of the equator.

The free app, which will be available on both iOS and Android platforms, will offer up a number of potentially useful features. Firstly, the app will enable users to access their profile screen from their smart device of choice, as well as communicate with users on the PS3, PS Vita and PS4 systems, along with other users of the app as well.

Not stopping at merely seeing your profile, the app will also enable players to view their friends list, send and answer invitations to join multiplayer games and view, and compare, their trophies.

However, it is the more advanced features that give us the most reason for eager anticipation of the app’s launch. Firstly, the app will allow players to buy and download a title onto their PS or Vita system from anywhere they choose. This, we envision, could be really handy especially when one is travelling and away from their home for short periods of time. Theoretically, users could be able to sit in an airport halfway around the world and remotely queue up demos or full games, only to find them ready and waiting on the console once they are back on their home turf.

The other alluring feature is that of second screen functionality. Apparently players will be able to use their smart device as a controller, keyboard, or in a myriad of other ways as seen fit by developers.

Day One update

The second piece of PS4 related news is that users will need to download a day one update, v1.5 and in the order of 300 MB, when they purchase their shiny new console. The good news is that this is not a minor bug-fix update but rather one that adds a host of features. These include Remote Play, which will enable gamers to access PS4 titles displayed on their living room TVs and play them on a PS Vita system over Wi-Fi networks and Second Screen functionality. Sony detailed that the latter will enable gamers to use the PS4 Link application for the PS Vita system, and PlayStation App for iPhone, iPad, and Android-based smartphones and tablets (mentioned above), to use these devices as second screens in supported titles.

Furthermore, the company elaborated that the PlayStation App has the ability to enable users to interact with games via their mobiles devices. For example on The Playroom, a title pre-installed in all PS4 systems that requires the PlayStation Camera, users will be able to draw pictures on their mobile device screens and flick them towards the TV, with the images then appearing as a 3D object within the game.

Other notable feature additions include the self explanatory Play as you download feature and facial recognition in order to log on to the system. For a full rundown on the features added by the update, go here.

To the point

Suffice to say, both pieces of news are quite welcome, and only add to the PS4’s allure. As Ster Kinekor Entertainment CEO Mario Dos Santos stressed in an interview recently, the PS4 is not just an improved PS3, but rather a new beast in its own right. It will certainly be interesting to see how developers incorporate second screen functionality into their titles down the road in particular.

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