I have a lot of remotes in my house. There’s the one for my cable box, the one for my TV, my Apple TV remote…the one for my sound bar oh and the controllers for each system I have. Note, I’ve got a universal remote that controls each but I’ve got all of the individual remotes laying around, you know…just in case ( it drives my wife nuts) What’s one more right?
The PDP Official Universal Media Remote for the PS4 is exactly what it sounds like, a Universal remote that works with the system’s User Interface and select apps like Hulu, Netflix, and of course the new Playstation subscription service, PS Vue. I’ve been using it for a while in between different apps and for most, I can’t picture going back to using a Dual Shock 4 to navigate through them.
I do have to say, as a bigger guy I appreciate the size of the PS4 remote. A lot of remotes these days are smaller, and I’m likely to lose them (I’m looking at you Apple TV) and the PDP remote is made of a sleek and solid black plastic with a surface that’s easier to grip. That being said, it’s not huge either so it doesn’t look out of place with any of my other media components.
Right from the start, the remote works via Bluetooth so pairing it with your console is just about as easy as pairing any controller or headset. Before too long I was running through the store and navigating my instant cue with a lot more ease than if I was using a regular controller. I did get a bit of a headache getting the remote to synch up with my other devices like my TV and soundbar but once they did, the remote flipped between inputs pretty comfortably.
At launch, the PS4 Universal Remote supports a number of different apps including Cruncyroll, NFL Sunday Ticket, HBO Go and the media player but what I found myself using it for most was for the newly expanded PS Vue TV service. The remote features a nearly complete set of features specifically tailored to the service. Most helpful were the four colored buttons near the top of the remote that serve to access some of the services best features like adding to or going to your shows (PS Vue’s version of DVR) or searching for new content. The only thing that I could not find was how to add a channel to my list of favorite channels and had to revert back to the Dualshock 4 to do so.
My only real complaint with the remote is the unpredictability of it’s performance with apps that aren’t officially supported. I’m a HUGE wrestling fan and I watch a lot of WWE Network on my PS4 but I’m not able to use the standard setup you’d expect to use on a remote like this. For instance pause isn’t pause, the X button is and fast forwarding and reversing is done with the arrow buttons. Having one set button layout for each app would go a long way for me, or a way to change how what does what similar to how we’re able to change the button layout of the dual shock.
Retailing at $30, the PS4 Universal remote feels like a must use for me, and will likely be the same for most, especially those who consume a ton of different media across different app sources.
This review is based on a review unit provided by the manufacturer.