Posted by Ryan Macro 28 October 2014
Why Sony's PS4 2.0 update is every gamer's dream (well, mine at least)
The PlayStation 4's new Share Play feature is a game changer, literally
Sony has unleashed its PS4 2.0 firmware update, bringing with it a number of new features including YouTube uploading (cue thousands of new gameplay videos), themes, USB music playback, improvements to voice command and library organisation, and the big one: Share Play.
Share Play is a new feature that lets two people game together over the internet, only requiring one of those people to own the game. There are two ways to use Share Play, one offering more versatility than the other.
If you own the copy of the game, you can use Share Play to allow a friend to see exactly what you can see while playing a game on your PS4. You can even pass over the control to let that friend play the game via the internet.
The second option is to utilise Share Play to play a co-op game together without needing to be in the same room, house, or country for that matter, and again without both requiring a copy of the game.
Share Play is a game changer, literally. For me, being a gaming addict, it opens up new possibilities that I've been hoping for for years.
I'm a twin. My brother and I spent much of our childhood gaming together under one roof. Now, at 24 years old, we've flown the nest and live apart. While there are many things I don't miss about my brother, one thing that I have truly missed is the time we spent sat in front of the TV arguing about who's fault it was that we couldn't kill a boss in Final Fantasy.
Honestly, though, my brother was always better than me at certain things when we played games together. Now, when I'm struggling with that last trophy that I just can't get, I can pass the control over to my brother who was just that moment watching and laughing at my pain via Share Play and watch him do it for me. As long as I'm the host player, any trophies he pops while playing will be mine.
I'm also really looking forward to not having to risk buying a game that I'm not going to enjoy, because there never seems to be many demos available for games nowadays. I still remember the time when you'd get discs full of demos to try out.
Now, if one of my friends has a game that I'm interested in, I can Share Play with him and test it out for myself before investing. The beauty of it is that even if that friend owns the game as a digital download, they can still let me play it in the comfort of my own home.
There are limitations, however, one of the biggest being that Share Players (if that's what we're calling them), can only play for one hour at a time. Right now though, there's no cap on how many times you can play together, so you can just launch Share Play again and continue left off. How long we'll be able to take advantage of this loophole is another matter.
The quality of the shared game is brought down to 720p, too, and you'll need a PlayStation Plus account to take advantage of Share Play, which will set you back £5.49 a month.
I hope Share Play is just the first step towards the future I've always envisaged: We'll be beamed onto each other's couches as holograms so it's like we really are gaming together even when we can't be. Or better still we'll get zapped into the game itself. One can dream, right?
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