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There’s a new PlayStation 4 update landing today, and it’ll be quite a big one as far as added functionality is concerned. Codenamed “Musashi”, a throwback to a World War II-era Japanese battleship, version 3.50 of the PS4 software brings some new features to PSN, making it easier to play with friends and track their appearance online, as well as remote play capability if you’re using a PC or Mac. Linux support could happen in the future, but the remote play functionality requires some software to be installed beforehand, so that could take a while.

Changes to PSN and Friends

The new social features that Sony has introduced were ones that had been voted on or submitted to them through various media. There’s still no changing your PSN ID, but maybe if we keep on hammering it into Sony’s executives that we’re even willing to pay for it, maybe that’ll be an option in the future.

  • Appear offline: You can now set yourself to appear offline to all friends through your settings in the profile menu. You can optionally set whether you’d like to appear offline if you log into your profile, and there’s a shortcut for this in the PS menu when you hold down the PS button.
  • Friend Online notification: Friends in your list that sign into their profiles will now pop up a notification on your display that they’re online. You can’t set this option globally, only on a per-profile basis for your friends list (i.e. you select which friends you’d like to receive notifications for).
  • Scheduled events: You can now create a scheduled event for a future date, where you can set up future gameplay sessions with your friends in your friends list. When your event starts, those friends who RSVP’ed for the event will be automatically added into a party. Events can be shared to a group or community that you’re a member of.
  • Play with your friends: A status update appears under your friend’s profile to show what game they’re currently playing. You can now join a friend’s game directly if you both own the same game, and you can optionally choose a game to start together. This functionality is only exposed when you and a friend are in a party, and is pretty similar to how things work on Steam, Origin, Uplay, and Xbox Live

Remote Play from a Windows PC or Mac

This is the key feature that mimics Microsoft’s remote play functionality that they currently have working via Windows 10 through the Xbox universal app. Like the Xbox setup, you need to use a DualShock 4 controller hooked up via USB to interface with the applications streamed through Sony’s software. It may be the case that future updates to this software allow you to hook up a controller through Bluetooth instead, but the USB hookup isn’t troublesome. On Microsoft’s setup, a wired or wireless Xbox One controller is required.

Requirements to use this feature are quite straightforward:

  • OS: Windows 8.1/10 32-bit, Mac OS X 10.10 or 10.11
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-520M or Core i5-560M or newer
  • RAM: 2GB system memory (more is better)
  • Display: 1024 x 768 pixels or higher resolution
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0 compatible sound card (Windows only)
  • Connectivity: USB port (charging and connecting the controller)

There’s no restriction on what graphics hardware you can have, and the CPU requirement seems to hint that integrated graphics will handle things just fine. There might be performance limitations if you’re trying to decode a 60fps stream, so strong single-threaded performance is probably key in running Sony’s software. Anything with only two cores might also struggle with the video conversion, though recent CPUs like the Intel Pentium G3258 could easily get around this by operating at higher clock speeds.

Games streamed through this service locally can be played at 720p and 60 frames per second, depending on the application. If you’re streaming this over your Internet connection to a computer on a remote network, your options are gaming at 360p or 540p, with 720p streaming only an option if your upload speed is good enough. The default frame rate is capped at 30fps, and running games at 60fps is available in the options menu.

Source: PlayStation blog

Download Remote Play software: Sony PC/Mac Remote Play software suite

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