I've Played My PS5 for Dozens of Hours on My iPod Touch

Sometimes compressing a game onto a 4" screen is the better way to play it.
August 26, 2021, 1:00pm
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Image: M

The Playstation 5 has so much that a console gamer may want: one of the best controllers ever made; a super speedy SSD to essentially eliminate some load times, and the ability to run a good chunk of games at a higher frame rate and resolution than the aged previous console.

I've opted to throw a lot of the benefits of a PS5 out of the window and instead stream the console to the 4 inch screen of my iPod touch. Obviously, a lot of people may think this is very stupid. When discussing when to write this piece, my editor Emanuel asked if I wanted to publish it under a fake name, presumably to avoid the backlash of taking a console that many people can't even buy at the moment (it was hard for me too), and compressing that down to a fiddly pocket device with tiny touch screen controls.

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But I love it. I've poured dozens of hours into playing my PS5 on my iPod. I've done this with the official PS Remote Play app, which lets you remotely control the console with a computer, smartphone, or miniscule handheld music storage device. The screen then displays a mockup of a Playstation controller, allowing you to interact with the game with touch commands. 

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Subscribers to Playstation's online service Playstation Plus get access to a selection of well-regarded PS4 games when they buy the PS5. Among them is Persona 5, a JRPG that I didn't expect to like but which sucked me in. The turn-based combat works well on the iPod's screen, even when the various buttons are cramped together, and the fact that you need to be on a pretty good internet connection to stream the console effectively. With a low-pressure game like this, any internet dropouts aren't that big of a deal.

I've played on the iPod when staying in a hotel away from home and the console itself, when over at a friend's house, or just when at home and I don't want to sit at the desk where my PS5 is. Everything works surprisingly well, and it's allowed me to rack up about 45 hours of playtime in Persona 5 overall.

The main reason I've gravitated towards playing like this is that the PS5's game library is just so sparse at the moment. I quickly completed Ratchet and Clank that came with the console; Demons Souls just is not for me, and even the newly released Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut isn't that appealing as I've already completed the base game on someone else's console. And having access to at least some things on my iPod just fits into my life a little better.

I do still play on the main console itself for Warzone, the Call of Duty battle royale spin-off that feels like it is facing more cheaters than ever before. I did try grinding some new guns on the iPod and I managed to briefly shoot an SMG before dying, that's about it. So I'm not going to use the iPod all the time.

But it does offer a little bit of versatility, and if at least one more person buys the iPod Touch perhaps Apple will keep making them.