Sony Announces PS4 Firmware 2.0 Which Includes Long-Awaited Share Play
Posted by Steve Murray
Back when the social features of the PlayStation 4 were first announced, one feature that caught a bit of heat from the core gamers was the ability for a friend to step into your game and take over for you. The idea is that if you were having trouble with a section of the game, you could ask a friend to play (or watch) to help you out.
While I thought that the PS4 launched with that feature, a quick perusal of the internet suggests that it wasn’t and still isn’t part of the PS4’s offerings. That will change shortly as Sony is soon to launch a virtual couch co-op feature called Share Play.
As part of the Firmware 2.0 update for the PlayStation 4, Share Play will be added to the online features for the PS4. This new feature will go far beyond what was announced originally. While friends will still be able to step in and take over your game session remotely, they are adding more to Share Play to the point where Sony’s marketing catch phrase of creating a “virtual couch” actually isn’t too inaccurate.
Sony describes is as being able to create “an online local co-op experience.” The idea is that you can invite a friend into a game session to play alongside you as you would otherwise be able to if you were sitting in the same room together. For example, if a game has local multiplayer (which is getting so rare that I can’t think of any examples other than sports games), you can play local multiplayer modes from different locations.
While it might not seem like much of a selling point when you consider that most games with local multiplayer also have online multiplayer, Share Play allows you to share a game session with a friend even if they don’t own the game. There in lies the big difference between Share Play and standard online multiplayer.
The most interesting part is how this might impact sales of various games that are popular on Share Play. At a certain point, having fun on the virtual couch with a friend is going to give way to actually buying a game. I’d imagine that Sony is going to integrate a “buy it now” pop-up when a Share Play session ends. That’ll certainly give them and publishers on PS4 an idea of why this is a a fantastic idea for business.
Source: PlayStation Blog