PS4 Remote Play vs. Steam Link: It's unclear why Apple allows one on the other, and that's a problem

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Last week, Sony has powered the App Store with its PS4 Remote Play app, which allows PS4 owners to stream games directly from their console to the iPhone. If you have a simplistic Internet connection and a good MFi (Made for iPhone) controller, you will have an experience that vaguely remembers the possibility of playing games on a Nintendo Switch. The remote reading technology of the remote games remains as rough as sandpaper on asphalt, but the festivities were generally at the rendezvous.

For some of us, however, there was also a lot of puzzling. The PS4 Remote Play feature is not so functionally different from Valve's Steam Link app, which was removed by Apple last May. day after Valve announced its upcoming release. Both applications belong to publishers other than Apple. Both games stream from another device on your iPhone via Wi-Fi connections. Both apps allow you to buy games in the app store without paying commission to Apple. In fact, they are so similar that I spent a good part of the last few days looking in my news feed that Apple had decided to also unplug Remote Play.

This has not happened yet, so what gives? While streaming services of games on other devices are becoming more and more popular, and as daily Internet services grow (sufficiently) to support them, Apple needs to be much clearer about what She waits for them.

Remote gaming streaming technology may still be in its infancy, but the market is already crowded. It is also diverse because it includes not only streaming services from devices you own, as in the case of PS4 Remote Play, Steam Link and OneCast, but also "cloud-based" services Like Nvidia's GeForce now games on servers. away from home. And progress is happening all the time.

Last month, Variety announced that Samsung could partner with Valve to allow Steam users to play games on their Galaxy S10 from anywhere. Even Google seems to be participating in the action with a new service called "Project Stream" that will be properly announced at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next week. I was one of the lucky people who could try Assassin's Creed Odyssey only using my Chrome browser last December, and I was very impressed with how it worked.

The streaming of remote games is probably the future of the game, even though it remains very far away. We will eventually wake up with a day where average internet connections can handle this stuff and it seems perfectly normal to play PS4 games on a phone thousands of miles from home in a hotel room. When that happens, I would like many of these phones to be iPhones.

Cross the streams

However, this may not be the case if Apple sticks to its policies willy dishonest. We thought we understood what to expect from Apple when he had shot Steam Link at the time, but the arrival of the PS4 Remote Play complicates these expectations. Indeed, you could even find contradictions.

At first, we did not really know why Apple had shot Steam Link, but Valve told Macworld last May that "Apple had withdrawn its authorization. [of Steam Link] citing business conflicts with application instructions that apparently would not have been made by the initial assessment team. In the same month, Apple's chief marketing officer Phil Schiller explained the reasoning in more detail in e-mails sent to various customers heading for Reddit.

"Unfortunately, the review team found that Valve's Steam iOS app, as submitted, violated a number of rules related to user-generated content, in-app purchases, content codes, etc." said Schiller at the time. This has been widely interpreted as a reprimand for how the streaming design of Steam Link has allowed users to buy games via Steam without giving Apple its famous 30% reduction. It was "Apple being Apple", in other words.

ps4 remote gaming console Adam Patrick Murray

PS4 Remote Play is cool, but we had trouble getting good latency here at the office.

But other applications do this thing without problem. In fact, a third-party app called R-PlayRemove (non-product link) has allowed PS4 owners to run their games on their iPhone for years now, and developer Lei Jiang is charging him even $ 11.99. As with the PS4 Remote Play and Steam Link, the streaming concept allows you to buy games via PSN Store with R-Play so that Apple will never see a penny in commission. (Notably, Apple Is get a price cut of 12 dollars from Lei Jiang.) Valve was certainly aware of these contradictions.

"Valve seduced, explaining that the Steam Link application was simply operating as a remote desktop based on a local network, similar to many remote desktop applications already available on the App Store," Valve said in a statement. email to Macworld. "In the end, this call was denied, preventing the release of the Steam Link app for iOS."

As TouchArcade pointed out last June, Valve even tried to calm Apple by changing the interface of the Steam Link application so you can not buy any Steam games through this application. Instead, you have been asked to buy the game from your PC (in the same way that the Kindle application requires you to use your browser if you want to buy a book).

But no dice. We are almost a year later and yet there is still no Steam link on iOS. Meanwhile, the Android version continues to live, of course, with PS4 Remote Play and R-Play. And we still do not know what the problem is.

Looking forward to

In my most optimistic moments, I like to think that Apple has allowed PS4 Remote Play on iOS because that changed in opinion. He realized that the future of streaming was in the future, and maybe even it has come to focus largely on services (and we will hear from them). probably speak more on March 25).

It is also possible that services such as Project Stream made it clear to Apple that it needed to change its attitude quickly. If the rumor about the Galaxy S10 and Steam Games was true, I would even be tempted to get one. It is even possible that Apple has in mind a kind of streaming for its video game subscription service and wants to see how a competitor's services work on its own devices. Honestly, who knows? I contacted Apple to get a statement, but I did not get an answer.

Whatever the reason, Apple must clearly define its standards. I strongly believe that Apple's closed application system has many advantages over Google's, but I hate to hold my breath to see if a cool, fun and free application like this will be removed because an arbitrary reasoning from Apple. I particularly hate this feeling when streaming games remotely becomes a technology to pay attention to. Frankly, it's exciting and it would make me use my iPhone more than I already do. In the current state of things, if Apple continues to use services like this, it will only give more ammo to those who want to upgrade to Android.

As an Apple user, I want to feel at the forefront of technology. I do not want to feel like I'm missing

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