It?s really about damn time that Sony and/or a third party decided to release a PS4 media remote of some type. Yes, it?s not all that difficult to pick up a DualShock 4 and control your console, but there?s something to be said for a dedicated remote to handle simple media functions. Thankfully, PDP in conjunction with Sony, have finally launched an officially licensed and supported Universal Media Remote for the PlayStation 4.
My home theater remote of choice has been the Logitech Harmony One for many years now. Coupled with the Bluetooth PS3 Adapter they released years ago, I have been more than satisfied with the unified, flexible remote experience that this device combo offers. Since I rely on my PS3?s media functions less and less these days, and neither Logitech nor Sony have a similar solution in place or planned for the PS4, PDP?s PS4 Universal Media Remote is the best solution out there so far.
The Universal Media Remote for the PS4 features most of the DualShock 4?s buttons, including PS, Options and Share, and works nicely with the console?s interface and most of the media heavy apps available for it right now. There?s no touchpad or analog sticks obviously, but the circular direction pad is more than adequate for navigating menus. The remote is actually smaller, thinner and lighter than it appears in product shots, and all of the important functions are clustered around the direction pad and easily reachable.
The most important feature of PDP?s PS4 remote is that it has both IR and Bluetooth built into the remote, which allows it to play nice with the PS3 and up to 3 other devices (TV, cable box, AV receiver for example). This means you can easily control all of your components with one device. The remote has a few customizable buttons that can be set to learn functions from other remotes or devices, which should be useful for certain situations. The universal remote also has volume punch-through capabilities that allows the volume controls for one device to be controlled when actually using another device. This doesn?t seem to work when in PS4 mode (using volume buttons to control my receiver), since I assume it won?t use Bluetooth and IR simultaneously. It?s a minor complaint, but one worth mentioning if you have a similar setup. I would have appreciated some light up keys also, but again, a small issue. Oh and yes, the remote can turn the console on and off via the PS button.
Otherwise, the PS4 Universal Media Remote is a useful device that seems to work properly with most of the PS4?s apps. Media Player, Blu-ray DIscs, Netflix, HBO GO, Twitch and many others seemed to work well, without many issues. The ?Enter? button does not always map to ?X? on a few apps at the moment, and I?ve noticed some inconsistent behavior in the native YouTube app (which is supposed to be supported). PDP and Sony have assured us that more and more apps will be supported, and we?re assuming that some of the small navigation issues will work themselves out. Better Spotify support would be on my wishlist too.
For under $30, the Universal Media Remote for the PlayStation 4 is a solid buy for those who frequently use the media functions of the console or are too lazy to grab a DualShock 4 to navigate the UI, apps and PlayStation Store (like myself).