Tap into the next gen
Both Sony and Microsoft have released companion apps for their new consoles that can enhance your next-gen experience. Havent downloaded them yet? You should. The PlayStation 4 App (iOS, Android) and Xbox One SmartGlass (iOS, Android) can sync with your PlayStation 4 or Xbox One and give you access to your dashboard, friends, and apps all while freeing up what you see on your big screen.
Whether you have an iPad or an Android phone, here are a few reasons why these nifty little apps are not only worth getting, but why every next-gen console owner should have them.
With the aid of your companion app, you can easily browse both Sonys store and purchase the games you want to get. The best part of all this is that your game downloads will be ready for you when you get home. With this new app you can shop digitally while youre out there in the real world shopping for, say, the other next-gen console you dont have yet. You cant shop remotely for Xbox One games unless you sync your device to your console, but you can select what apps and games to pin on your dashboard. This makes it easy to come home and start downloading the stuff you want.
One common gripe about messaging friends on Xbox 360 or PS3 was having to use your controller to type messages to your friends. You could also purchase one of those controller keyboards, but even that required you to spend more money. To make things even easier this generation, you can now simply use your phone and use it, well, like a phone and text. Send messages to your friends while in the middle of a game without opening up a separate app on the Xbox One or loading the message screen on the PS4. Its additions like these that make communicating on next-gen consoles so much easier.
3. Follow your friends
One sneaky thing you can do while using these companion apps is follow your friends and track their progress when youre not home. Used in tandem with messaging, you can see which friends are online and send them messages to meet up for a game later on. You can even check out your friends Achievements and Trophies or keep track of yours while playing without interrupting whats happening on your big screen. Or you could be really sneaky and turn off the console from the other side of the living room while your brother is playing.
2. Watch streams
Xbox One wont have streaming out of the box, but in time, it will. If you own a PS4, you can watch your friends stream their games directly on your mobile device, giving you a second screen and letting you play your own game while watching someone else play theirs. Whether you can stream games from your console to your device in the future still remains to be seen, but wouldnt that be cool?
1. Dual-screen gaming
The Xbox One and PS4 are game consoles, so it makes sense for their companion apps to enhance how you play games too. The PS4s app currently lets you enhance your Playroom experience by letting you create drawings on your device and then flicking them into your TV. The Vita is still relevant, of course, but more games are coming out with their own companion apps that give you a quicker way to manage your progress even when its not synced to your console.
The Xbox One uses SmartGlass to incorporate your mobile device while in a game. Play Dead Rising 3, for example, and use SmartGlass to call in an airstrike or complete some additional zombie-busting missions. The possibilities for future forms of integration are quite endless, so its safe to assume weve only touched the surface.
Slide into the future
And you thought SmartGlass was dead. Let us know if youll be using your phone or tablet alongside your new console or whether youll be sticking to your good old controller.