The PlayStation 4 supports Remote Play via the PlayStation Vita because the functionality is part of PlayStation DNA, according to the console's lead architect, Mark Cerny.
Speaking to Polygon today, Cerny said he pitched the Remote Play feature during a management meeting after realizing that it's something the company has had in previous consoles and it should be doing more with it.
"Part of that was looking at the Wii U and saying this is our DNA — we did Remote Play first the PSP. We should be working with this stuff more," Cerny said, referring to the Nintendo Wii U's Remote Play function that allows players to continue their game on the console's GamePad.
"It doesn't cost the game anything to support Remote Play on the PS4," he said. "It's compressed in the background and streams to the PS Vita [via] wi-fi. [So] you're all in the living room and someone wants to use the TV set so you just shift over to the Vita and it makes it much more social. You can be with your family and still play PS4."
According to Cerny, activating Remote Play on the Vita is a simple process. Players won't have to save and sign out of their PS4 in order to play remotely on the PS Vita — they will be able to switch over seamlessly by linking their PS4 and PS Vita accounts. "Your Vita will pop up like it's a new controller," he said. "As you're playing you can switch over to Vita." Players will require a steady wi-fi connection for Remote Play to work, although the feature was not designed to function if the player is very far away from their console.
Polygon's hands-on preview of Assassin's Creed 4's Remote Play feature can be read here.
Brian Crecente contributed to this story.