To date, the social aspects of the PlayStation 4 have all been based upon existing concepts. Placing the share button on the DualShock 4 was undoubtedly a stroke of genius, but there’s nothing especially original about uploading gameplay clips to Facebook or broadcasting live on Twitch. However, with firmware update v2.00, the platform holder has come up with a wildly imaginitive new feature: Share Play.
This was hinted at during the next-gen console’s big coming out party last year, but has been bubbling under the radar of late. The concept essentially allows you to turn every gameplay session into a couch co-op, pass-the-controller experience with your friends – even if they don’t own the same games as you, and are living on the other side of the world. The question is: how exactly does it even work?
“How it works is, for example, say a friend has a game that I don't,” Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida told Famitsu magazine. “I ask them to let me play it, and if they send me an invitation, I can access their PS4 and play while watching the video that is streamed. You could call it a mini PlayStation Now.” It’s certainly ambitious stuff, and developers won’t even need to do anything to make their games compatible.
The best part is that, if you start a game on someone else’s machine, you’ll be able to save your progress locally, and then pick up where you left off should you decide to purchase the title at a later date. And, in addition to acting as a kind of try before you buy option, it’ll also come in handy if you’re stuck on a particular boss or puzzle, as you’ll be able to invite a pal to help you out. We wished that this feature existed when we tried playing God Hand.