When the current generation of consoles launched in 2013 we all knew that they were destined to become the center of our living room entertainment systems. The least they could have done was come with a decent remote. Finally, nearly five years after the fact, I’ve stumbled on an excellent, affordable solution. It’s the AAA-battery operated, app-enabled Cloud Remote for PlayStation 4.
The officially licensed, $29.99 item is currently up for pre-order on Amazon. It’s not the first media remote that Performance Digital Products has made for the PS4, nor is it their most sophisticated. But it is, quite possibly, the simplest and most intuitive remote on the market.
To set it up, all I had to do was put it into pairing mode and tell my PS4 I wanted to connect. After that, it was included in the list of all the other Bluetooth devices that I have connected to my console. By using the directional pad and the same, familiar iconography that appears on the DualShock 4, I was able to control the dashboard as well as apps like NetFlix and Hulu.
And you know what? So was my five-year-old.
The real magic, however, is in the app.
Inside the PlayStation Store you’ll find the PDP Cloud Remote App. Once installed, it took just a few button presses for it to use the PlayStation’s HDMI connection to identify my television. From there, I can use the remote to change inputs and adjust the volume on the TV.
Since I don’t have over-the-air or cable TV, now I just leave my original remote control on the mantel.
There are two major benefits to the remote, aside from the ease of setup. First, it’s a wonderful solution for the non-gamers in your life.
Many are the times that I’ve turned to the babysitter and asked, “Do you know how to work a PS4?” What I was really asking was, “Please, please don’t make me do this lengthy tutorial again.” But, every time — whether it was my neighbor, a local high-schooler or my own parent — I had to spend a couple of minutes just explaining how to turn the DualShock 4 on and what to do if it turns itself off. That was before we even broached the topic of how the dashboard works.
But, with the Cloud Remote, I never have to give that lesson again because the thing just works.
The second benefit is that the Cloud Remote will effectively extend the life of the battery inside your DualShock 4. If you’re not using it to change channels, then you can leave it on the charger where it belongs biding its time for your next raid in Destiny 2.
I searched and couldn’t find anything quite as simple as the Cloud Remote for Xbox One. Microsoft console owners are encouraged try out the Xbox One Media Remote. If you’re tired of swapping out AA-batteries, the $39.99 peripheral could save you some money in the long run.
The PDP Cloud Remote for PlayStation 4 ships on Sept. 18.