Are PS4 companion apps a fad or the future? The debate

The Division second screen

With more PS4 games using companion apps and second screen stuff to expand on their worlds or add new features, the Official PlayStation Magazine team debate whether this new way of playing represents the future of PlayStation 4 gaming or just a passing phase.

Are PS4 companion apps a fad or the future?

 

Dave Meikleham, acting news editor

I’m obsessed with my iPad and Los Santos. anything that gives me a chance to train a Rottweiler remotely is GTA-okay.

The Apple-approved digital slab has obliterated my attention span. It’s turned me into a serial fidget who can’t play an hour of GTA V without pawing at the shiny screen. So it’s a relief said pawing has some practical use. Thanks to the iFruit app, I can train Franklin’s mutt to learn new tricks in the main game. Fetch Ballas’ balls, Chop! These companion pieces tap into the habits of constantly connected gamers who want to expand their experience wherever they go. Embrace the apps. They ain’t going anywhere.

 

Emma Davies, Production editor

I love my tablet for videos of cats doing silly things, but I don’t feel the need to use it for everything.

Reading articles in bed, playing iOS games that cost a whopping 69p and the aforementioned kitty shenanigans: that’s what my iPad is used for. My PS3? That’s for movies, TV streaming and full-fat console games. I don’t want a murky crossover between the two. I like games as an escape from day-to-day life; I don’t want them pervading it entirely. If customising vehicles or caring for a dog and so on is so important, can’t I just do it in the main game? I’d rather wait ’til I get home, then play properly. After all, if I really wanted a second screen, I’d become a PC gamer.

 

Joel Gregory, deputy editor

They’re here to stay, but I don’t have to like it. That said, some apps are more equal than others.

Can the answer be ‘both’? Because, whatever your feelings about them, second-screen experiences are only going to become more commonplace. That said, they’re never even going to come close to replacing the enjoyment you get from the big-brother experience, and the worst of the bunch will only end up diverting your attention or diluting your play time as you try to juggle too many things at once. The best will be those that let you directly interact with game worlds when you’re on the move, such as The Division’s touchscreen drone of death.

 

Phil Iwaniuk, games editor

History shows they are just another notch on the timeline of superfluous peripherals.

Bear with me while I remove these 3D glasses and stow away my light gun. Ah, those invaluable mobile supplements that let you look at a map, or customise a car. In the year 2013 our primary control method for console games is a pad. A pad that’s only a few analogue sticks, rounded edges and rumbles away from the NES controller. Gamers love a simple control interface – that maxim hasn’t changed since the medium was born, but if anything’s going to change it, it’s the idea of struggling to comprehend two screens at once, or looking at menus on a bus.

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