Sony went out of its way to sell the PlayStation 4 as a social platform during last month’s PlayStation Meeting press conference. It described in painstaking detail the manner in which you’ll be able to save screenshots to the PlayStation Network, watch videos recorded by your friends, and even share your own personal gameplay clips. But while they’re all undoubtedly nifty features, will you actually use them?
Video sharing isn’t especially new to the PlayStation 3. Several titles have included the option to upload gameplay directly to YouTube, allowing you to capture some of your most triumphant moments and feed them into the eyeballs of the rest of the world. While the functionality was limited to releases such as Tom Clancy’s HAWX, Just Cause 2, and PixelJunk Eden, it offered an early snapshot of what we can expect from the PS4. But how many times did you actually take advantage of the feature when it was available?
A quick browse through our YouTube channel’s archives shows that we did upload a clip from Keita Takahashi’s strange physics-driven play box Noby Noby Boy back in the hazy days of 2009. The short 60 second video captured directly from our PS3 shows us faffing about with protagonist BOY, achieving very little at all. It represents the sum of the use that we’ve gotten out of the functionality over the past seven years. So, what will make the PS4 any different?
For starters, its compatibility with every game should have an impact. We've always felt that a title like LittleBigPlanet, for example, lacked the option to show off your creations more easily to people that don’t own the appropriate hardware. That will be rectified. Furthermore, its integration into the console’s operating system – rather than an external website like YouTube – will ensure that the best content is more pronounced at a system level.
But once the novelty has been exhausted, will you actually bother to share gameplay footage with the rest of the PSN community? We’re sure that there’ll be an audience for outrageous goal compilations in FIFA, or jammy hole-in-one shots in Everybody’s Golf, but who’s going to watch you tear through the Helghast in Killzone: Shadow Fall? Will anyone care that you just recorded a perfect lap in DriveClub? And is anyone really going to browse through raw gameplay videos of Knack?
Outside of the obvious uses – glitches, tips, Trophies – we’re just not convinced that video sharing is quite the game changer that Sony’s billing it to be. The emphasis on social features will undoubtedly help to give the PS4’s interface a much livelier appearance than the PS3, but our interest in watching and making our own gameplay videos at a consumer level remains relatively low. And we’re convinced that we’re not alone in that opinion.
Are you excited for the PS4’s video sharing functionality? If so, what kind of clips do you intend to record and watch? Let us know in the comments section and poll below.
Will you use the PS4's video sharing features? (27 votes)
Yes, I plan to upload lots of clips
I may occasionally share something cool or silly
No, I don't see the point
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