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Prepare your wallets, ye console gamers: the launch of the next generation is nigh. (Unless you count the Wii U.) Sony's much-awaited PlayStation 4 will be arriving next month, and since game consoles are no longer self-contained happy boxes, it's going to talk to all of your electronics and social media. That includes your Android phone and tablet: Sony has confirmed the official PlayStation App, which will launch along with the console.

The PlayStation App will be available in North America on November 13th and Europe on November 22nd, a few days before the PS4 launch in both cases. The app will be a mobile companion for all things PlayStation, including second-screen game experiences a la the Wii U and latter games like Beyond: Two Souls. The app will have access to PSN social features and online multiplayer invitations, users can purchase PS4, PS3, and PS Vita content via the online store, and there's a remote control feature for movies, music, and supported games. Perhaps most interesting is the spectate feature, which will allow users to view live and recorded game footage shared from other players' PS4 games.

Sony has been playing well with others lately, so I fully expect the app to be compatible with non-Sony hardware when it's released on the Play Store. An iOS version will be posted to the App Store as well. Unfortunately Sony didn't include any screenshots with the press release, but we'll be sure to let you know when the app goes live. The new app will presumably replace the previous PlayStation Official App, which appears to be exclusive to Europe and hasn't been updated in about six months.

TOKYO, Oct. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) announced that it will release PlayStation®App, a new application for mobile devices, on November 13, 2013 in North America, and on November 22, 2013 in Europe.  PlayStation®App will be available free of charge. PlayStation®App can be downloaded onto various mobile devices, such as iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android™ based smartphones and tablets, from the App Store and Google Play*1.  Once installed, these devices can be used as second screens in supported PlayStation®4 (PS4™) titles, and users can easily access PSN(SM) features such as Friend Lists and Trophies.  Furthermore, users will be able to exchange messages with members of their Friends List, and browse through news and information on the official PlayStation® website.  PlayStation®App comes with a variety of features that allow users to seamlessly access and enjoy the world of PlayStation®.

The following features are available on PlayStation®App:

Directly access various PSN(SM) features and information

  • Users can access their own profile screen.
  • Users can access/compare their own and friends' Trophy accomplishments.
  • Exchange messages between PS4 systems, PlayStation®3 (PS3™) systems, PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita) systems, and mobile devices installed with PlayStation®App.
  • Access and filter friend profiles.
  • Notify users about their friends' shared activities on "What's New".
  • Notify PS4 users when they receive any new notifications or game invitations. Users can also display their lists of game items.

Browse the official PlayStation® website and access information

  • Users can access the PlayStation® official website to browse through news, blogs and game information.  The language and content of the website will depend on the country the user's Sony Entertainment Network account is registered.

PS4 Second Screen Feature

  • Users can install PlayStation®App on to their mobile devices to use as a second screen in supported games.  For example on THE PLAYROOM, a title pre-installed in all PS4 systems that requires PlayStation®Camera, users can draw pictures on their mobile device screens and flick them towards the TV.  The images then appear as a 3D object within the game.

Spectate other PS4 users' gameplay

  • When users' friends upload or begin live streaming their gameplay on PS4 systems, the friends' activities are displayed on "What's New" of the PlayStation®App screen.  When users tap on this notification, they can boot pre-installed applications, such as browsers, to spectate the uploaded gameplay.  Users can also post comments on gameplay screenshots, footage and live streams.  

Purchase game content on PlayStation®Store

  • Users can purchase game content*2 while away from home and download it directly onto their PS4, PS3, and PS Vita*3 systems.

Use a mobile device as a simple remote to control the PS4 system

  • Once installed, users can use their PlayStation®App to control their PS4 system as long as both devices have access to the same Wi-Fi access point.  For example, users can switch their PS4 system to standby mode, startup their PS4 system from standby mode, and use their mobile phone as a keyboard for their PS4 system.
Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Mick

    Sounds really good. Sony really are crushing Microsoft on every front these days, and Microsoft are compounding that with their own endless stream of cockups.

    • remister

      I believe Sony needs to catch up from what happened with the PS3. I am glad that they are doing what they are doing now, better for the consumer.

      • Smithers_Jones

        Catch up? the PS3 launched 16 months AFTER the Xbox360, at a higher price, and has outsold it, and also has a 2x bigger userbase (a large proportion of the Xbox sales are replacements for broken consoles to existing gamers).

        It's only Microsoft and their pals in the American gaming media that are cherrypicking cosy Xbox news.

        • red_splat

          Sony went from having a dominating lead with the PS2 to starting with a huge deficit with the PS3 and total abandonment by developers. It took years to undo the damage, mend relationships, and pull even with the competition. So yes, fanboyism aside, "catch up" is entirely accurate. If they want to be dominate again they better keep up the progress they've made.

          • Smithers_Jones

            "total abandonment by developers" are you for real? PS3 easily had the best games this generation, not only the best exclusives, but the best games full stop. Chock full of indie devs. Not sure what planet you have been living on. The Microsoft sponsored one?

        • remister

          The whole fiasco with the homebrew community and their servers being hacked :(.

          • Smithers_Jones

            You mean the homebrew community that demonstrated how they couldn't be trusted, and used OtherOS to try and open up the PS3 for pirated games?

            The only people to blame for OtherOS removal are the homebrew community themselves.

    • mustbepbs

      They've seen what works and what doesn't. They're really pro-consumer with things like cross-buy and PS+ free games. Working so closely with the Vita is really great too.

      • Smithers_Jones

        The PS+ subscription service is stellar, more-so if you have multi devices. If you have a PS3, PS4 and Vita, you are going to get a truck-load of free games every month, more than any human couple play in a month.

        I'm still working my way though all the PS3 content PS+ delivers.

        • http://papped.webatu.com papped

          Agreed, I think a lot of people that don't have PS+ really don't really realize how much free stuff you get (and a lot of it is not crap)...

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      • red_splat

        The big difference is that Sony are now pro-developer. As opposed to the previous generation in which they have admitted they wanted to crush developers and dominate with their own titles. Fortunately dev's are back on board this time around.

        • Smithers_Jones

          I'm pretty sure it was Microsoft saying Sony said that. Pretty much everything baout last gen was Microsoft using social media to fool gamers into thinking Sony was the bad guy, and they should sign up to Microsoft's pay-gaming service. It was great for them, as once those gamers were in, the were more than happy believing they were paying for something superior, they never questioned it.

        • remister

          Multiplatform releases were generally easier to do with the XBOX360 and sadly got ported over to the PS3 (which is sad).If the development teams of those multiplatform publishers were able to develop for the PS3 specific version, they would have better games. But since next gen has an even playing ground, I think PS4 is going to be winning with this one.

          It just too bad my friends are going to stay with the XBOX One, but I will definitely get the PS4 exclusives!

    • Hooterman

      You realize that Microsoft has had SmartGlass available for over a year now right?

      • NinoBr0wn

        That's really a tiny part of what he's saying.

      • Smithers_Jones

        As has Sony, but it's only been on Vita, it's now coming to all Android and iOS devices.

        As mentioned, that's a really small part of the feature-set. The live stream (or saved stream) of a friends game is also pretty impressive feature.

      • Spasillium

        And how many games actually support it right now? Like 5?

  • Spasillium

    Three more weeks!

    • remister

      I'll be broke, for sure!

      • GraveUypo

        to be honest i've learned my lesson on the previous gen. got a console near the launch and it bit me on the ass... twice.

        i'll let you guys deal with the next gen of 3rl and ylod for me. have fun !

        • remister

          I hear you on that. It just something about these next gen games, that I have to play on launch date.

    • Smithers_Jones

      4 here :-(

    • http://godz-clan-dukezap1.webs.com/ dukezap1

      Replace "weeks" with "days"! Cause it's PS4 time on Friday! Greatness awaits

  • DavidB

    PLEASE Sony, Amazon App Store too, for us millions of Kindle Fire users!

    • Smithers_Jones

      The downside of buying Kindle. Even more when the Kindle and amazon apps are all available in the Google store. Who on earth buys Kindle in 2013?

      • DavidB

        Millions of people.

        • lust 4 blood

          Millions of dumb people u mean

    • http://papped.webatu.com papped

      Man I feel bad for anyone that is restricted to the Amazon App Store...

  • Matthew Fry

    I wouldn't call it playing nice, I'd call it being realistic. Nobody is going to want to develop companion content if it can only be used by the small group of Sony Android phone users.

  • Primalxconvoy

    The second screen for gaming will die with this, as I doubt many devs will support it.

    What I would like to see is the ability to use the app to cross-game text/voice/video chat, so I can message my fellow gamers easily without having to fumble about with my console to do it. Texting on my phone and voice chatting is so much easier that way. I've also got a mic built into my headphones so chatting would be great that way too.

    Related to that, I'd like the ps3 to also be able to stream ALL sound and media to my smartphone, so I can use my earphones connected to my phone in order to play quietly. Then I've got wireless earphones without even having to try.

  • JonJJon

    Looking forward to a far better app than the mostly useless one out at the moment. The added functionality will be much welcomed as well. Can't wait for updates to the Vita apps more though (and still holding hope for a GUI overhall next year) and also can't wait till I can grab a PS4 :-D

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    About time they updated the app