PS Vita Only Works as a Secondary Controller in Specific Games

We were all excited about the way you could use your Vita as another PS4 controller, weren’t we? It would save you from having to buy a secondary DualShock 4 (for £55) and you could laugh at your friend as he struggles with the smaller buttons and lack of secondary triggers on the Vita.

To clarify, the Vita should still work as a PS4 controller for single-player affairs, but it’ll need to be specifically programmed for multi-player modes, according to Sony’s President of Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, who tweeted:

Hey BRO! In a normal sense, no. Unless a game is specifically programmed to allow such use of PS Vita.

In response to an eager twitter follower asking if it can “be used as a second controller on the PS4?”, as found by Gameranx, who appear to have misread, thinking that this applies to single-controller gameplay rather than just multi-controller modes.

This isn’t a huge deal – there are obviously problems with transmitting a signal from both a Vita and a DualShock 4 simultaneously, though Remote Play (and presumably the option to use a Vita as a controller) will still work as standard for all games outside multi-player modes, if previous reports are to believed.



  1. Thought Remote Play was mandatory for all games that don’t use the camera. Single player, multiplayer whatever… If you can play it on the PS4 you can play it via RP.

    Here it seems to be local multiplayer games, one player can’t use a DS4 & another use the Vita unless the game is specifically written for a second screen experience. The Division for example

    • Isn’t remote play a little different to using a secondary controller? Remote play is playing a PS4 game on the Vita as opposed to controlling a PS4 game (on a big TV) using the Vita. At least that’s what I understand anyways. That said you’d imagine if you can do one then you should be able to do the other.

    • “Thought Remote Play was mandatory for all games that don’t use the camera.”

      It still is. The way I understand this is that you could RP Borderlands 3 on your own, but could not play local split screen coop with one DS4 and a Vita, unless it is specifically implemented in the game as an option to do so. Now what about one player RPing with the Vita while player #2 plays on the big screen with a DS4? Not sure this is a possible use case of the Vita RP functionality but it would be cool. Maybe somewhere down the line we can expect implementations that are closer to the Wii U experience but I wouldn’t count on it close to launch.

  2. If it’s not like the Wii U where you could have one player with a DS4 and another one on Vita, does that mean it isn’t technically a second screen? If so, that’s a real shame as I think that would’ve been really good next gen.

    Basically all you can now use Vita for is playing your PS4 if you can’t be using your TV for whatever reason.

    • That’s about right, folk using their Vitas would take a lot of sales away from extra DS4’s.

      • I don’t think that would be an issue. Surely Sony would be more than happy to lose a DS4 sale if that means that one more person owns a Vita.

      • No offense Cam, but that’s completely wrong. Why would Sony want people to buy a £50 controller over a £160 console + the games to go with it.
        This would have been a great chance to kick start some sales of the bombed handheld, instead Sony have missed a great trick using Vita as a second controller.

      • the only people that would use it as a second controller would be those who already have one, and if you already have one, you probably wouldn’t go out and buy a second DS4. Whereas, if i only had the one DS4, i wouldn’t go and buy a Vita as my second controller option, i think that is what Cam is getting at

    • You can use the PSP (or Vita) as a second screen on Singstar today on the PS3 so I hope they do that on some PS4 games as well.

  3. How about we just wait until the damn thing is out before we complain about features? Not against tsa, but everywhere seems to be reporting all sorts of x is disapponting about y unreleased console and my z is about to explode in anger type articles…

  4. Did anyone not see this coming? The button patternd aren’t even the same. It was always going to be developer choice. For prolonged play I’d rather use a dualshock anyway as i find the vita a bit poorly designed ergonomically.

    • I don’t understand what you mean by the button patterns are not the same.

      Couldn’t agree more with “For prolonged play I’d rather use a dualshock anyway as i find the vita a bit poorly designed ergonomically.”

      I have the PDP Trigger Grip and it helps a little, but I still get hand cramps after extended play (oddly in opposite hands than without the case).

      I’ve been looking into the Nyko Power Grip, but it looks bulky. Might help with the ergonomics a bit for you though.

      • By saying button patterns I’m basically saying it’s just lacking the full functionality of a dualshock with regard to the L2 and 3 and R2 and 3 buttons. That’s a lot of lost buttons.

  5. This is a bit of disappointing news. Seems a little vague though.
    I was actually looking forward to using my Vita as a controller. I assumed that was why they put Bluetooth in it. I don’t see any advantage to having bluetooth on the Vita otherwise. Using it for a headset seems redundant to me since the mic is right in front of my face while playing. If there is something the Bluetooth is useful for that I am not aware of please let me know (not sarcastic i really would like to know). I really love my Vita like most owners but it really needs to be more useful.

  6. More BS + bad journalism. Getting tired of it.

    Compared to DS, Vita lacks the lower triggers (that must be simulated using the back touch pannel) and the “share” button. Once all buttons are simulated, the use of Vita as DS controller is independent of game being mono or multiplayer.

    I don’t recall Sony announcing any “remote play” capability as standard feature for PS4 + Vita (standard read as native for all games). They said that Vita could be used as controller.

    • Read lower triggers as L2 & R2,

      • Start button can work as a share button and the left and right sides of the back touch panel can work as the left and right triggers, can’t they? As well as the touch screen to replace the front touch panel. That explains how it’ll be able to work for all games, I think.

    • What about this:
      with the source article on Eurogamer being confirmed by Shuhei Yoshida on Twitter.

      • Yes, that’s true. I oversaw that…

        But, in the end does it make sense? Meaning: ok, you can play remote. But is it reasonable to play things intended to be screened in > 32inch display in Vita? I expressed this criticism about NVidia Shield: ok, you can play PC games in your bed but… what’s the real experience of playing things like AC, Uncharted, Bioshock, ME, MGS 4, and others in the small screen? Let’s notice that Vita analogs aren’t as responsive and smooth as DS ones…

        But just letting the discussion about the ergonomy of Vita screen for console games, the information about multiplayer games not being automatically enabled for remote play is kind of interesting. Because it is clearly not a technical issue (since they state that same games in campaign mode will be remotely playable) . Or perhaps it is indeed a technical issue and that’s problematic. Why? Because as limitations doesn’t lie in the capability of downsizing images & using Vita as screen + remote “keyboard”, then it must be somewhere else. And my first thoughts (perhaps professional bias) fell on security: in order to avoid the burden of having SSL connections, communication is done in clear mode and anyone capable of hacking residential WiFi router would be able to monitor (or even interfere) with communications between PS4 and Vita. This is bad news because it’s a way of getting people PSN accounts and more.

        So, I thing Sony should elaborate this last declaration.

  7. It’s a shame really.I was looking forward to giving some friends a right hammering on fifa online with the rear touchpad as it it’s with fifa on Vita. You wouldn’t really need R/L2 buttons not really mattering to much. It’d be everybody behind the ball on the counter, then pretty much guaranteed goal. I hope it still happens.

  8. Hey BRO! :D

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