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article imagePlayStation 4 rivals Xbox One with new PC game streaming feature

By James Walker     Mar 1, 2016 in Entertainment
Sony has announced a new PlayStation 4 software update that adds in several heavily-requested features. Version 3.50 launches in beta tomorrow and includes expanded Remote Play support, letting owners stream PS4 games to their PC and Mac.
Sony Remote Play currently works with the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV. PS4 console gamers can stream their titles to their handheld device or dedicated Sony hardware. There is no support for third-party products, preventing PC owners from playing PS4 games on their monitor.
That will change with System Update version 3.50, announced by Sony today. Remote Play will be expanded to include Windows and Mac OS X-based computers, increasing its reach to millions of PC owners worldwide.
The introduction of the much-requested feature lets Sony play catch-up to one of Microsoft's key Xbox One features. Console games can be streamed over a network to Windows 10 computers, providing an easy way to play in any room in the house.
The exclusivity of this Xbox functionality will now be lost. Sony's Remote Play may turn out to be the more robust solution because it will support older versions of Windows as well as Apple computers. Currently, Xbox One game streaming only works on Windows 10, a limitation that Microsoft has indicated won't change anytime soon.
Remote Play also rivals the Steam Link, a dedicated piece of hardware that allows PC gamers on Valve's Steam platform to play games on their TV. A related feature, Steam In-Home Streaming, lets players access games stored on any PC in their house over their local network.
PS4 update 3.5 has a few other new features besides improved Remote Play. The console can now display a notification when friends come online, making it easier to know who's available to play a game. Alternatively, friends can be hidden altogether with a new "incognito" mode that hides your online status while playing a game or consuming media.
The PlayStation 4 now includes a gameplay session scheduler to let friends coordinate when they will be online and which game will be played. Users who register for an event will be automatically added to a party when the event leader starts the session. Finally, livestreaming options have been extended to support direct broadcasting to Dailymotion.
The robust update launches in beta tomorrow with select users who requested access. Remote Play will be missing from the beta while Sony polishes some areas but should be ready for the final release. Sony hasn't stated a date for a public rollout, instead saying it will release more details in due course.
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