PS4 sharing called “Next Gen magic” by developer

An extremely interesting article about PS4 sharing was just spotted by a Neogaf user on Develop Online. The author is Claire Blackshaw, now working at Climax as  senior technical designer.


She describes in detail what is possible with the PlayStation 4’s sharing and what this means for both developers and users. As Sony already said during the PlayStation Meeting, at all times, at no cost to the developer, the PS4 records recent gameplay so you never miss a moment.

Blackshaw reckons that passive recording makes a significant difference:

Passive recording means we don’t have to think about it. The serendipity of pulling off the impossible and having it on film is magic. So when we have that amazing moment we can instantly share it with our friends. Not on some restrictive closed ecosystem but with the entire web using open standards.

She’s also positive that this will fundamentally change the ability to expose and learn of new content from games:

The way we talk about, discover and share the games we love is going to change.We are storytelling creatures who like to express and digest information in a narrative form. The stories we want to tell are personal, not “look at this cool game” but “look at this amazing starship I built”. The ‘show, don’t tell’ method of video makes it easy to express unique gameplay and explain it instantly.

Of course, this also ties in Sony’s promise that games will be playable just a few moments after beginning the download.

If we see something we like we can start downloading it and within moments start playing the game while the rest downloads in the background, encouraging us to try more games and engage.

The next step is obviously live streaming. Apparently there will be both camera & microphone inputs integrated, and thanks to a specific framework and PlayStation 4 features, the streaming can be extended far beyond the console.

Which leads to the next feature, easy one button live streaming with camera & microphone inputs. Video is only the start, we can involve our friends through HTML5 and web standards to interact with our games. So every browser, be it on desktop, mobile or new devices is part of our network. So your friends don’t need a PS4 to enjoy your story and share your triumphs.This is all tied into a powerful extensible framework which builds on open standards like HTML5 and empowers developers to create truly modern game experiences.This, coupled with a range of smaller technical features built into the very DNA of the PS4, sets the stage for the next generation of services. Imagine a narrative moment when you flip open your radio and on the other end is not some faceless AI, but your friend on their phone making decisions that impact your game. So not only can we watch the games our friends and casters are broadcasting but we can interact with them.The first impulse of many will be spammy Facebook-like interactions, but it can be so much more. This is not only limited to real-time streams but asynchronous services, websites, mobile services and the PlayStation dashboard. Discover your friend’s dying message on a wall, or instead an ammo cache they left for you. Beyond simple boosts this extends to story moments, what if the old sailor is your friend and the dire warning of sea monsters was voiced by her.Whether from her PS4, phone, Vita, or desktop we can make this your story with best mates. We can extend this to the crowd, you could be broadcasting online while you creep through a haunted mansion fearing for your life, your viewers guiding you through the horror with text messages on your character’s phone while they look at a map of the mansion online.

This is another confirmation that, as explained on the stage at PlayStation Meeting, players watching the stream will be able to interact with their friends – certainly an exciting concept. But it doesn’t stop there, as Blackshaw expands on the value of passive data collection for single player experiences.

Beyond the active participation you can build rich passive data for the more solo experiences. Chart your survival quest through the zombie apocalypse as progress is mapped onto a real-time web page your friends can follow and you can annotate with video clips and notes. We can also pull data into our games from the servers without expensive proprietary servers.Sony has built a machine from the ground up thinking about user-generated content and the online lives we live, making it easier for studios to use user-generated content in their games. This extends into media. For example, imagine a web TV show based around a few witty friends playing through a user-generated mission campaign.These applications barely scratch the surface; there will be some amazing applications in the next generation. The best part of this story is to take advantage of this next generation; we need innovative gameplay and creative thinking. No one wants to watch the same tunnel shooter twice let alone hundreds of times. This has the potential to truly reward smaller studios and new types of games.This will be aided by not betting everything on a marketing push or the first month’s sales, but instead on continued community value. Additionally, the fast download and play behaviour will allow impulse purchases much like retail. People can learn about my games from their friends or online. This viral spread is a steadier vector of information and will encourage a longer tail to sales.The PS4 brings in the next generation built around strong social services and open platforms. It’s little surprise that Sony are courting innovation and putting gameplay at its core.

The mention about user-generated content is interesting as well, as it looks more and more like that will be the future of gaming. Of course, we’ll have to see all these features for ourselves but it is doubtless than Sony is winning the race for the hearts of hardcore gamers. Will the upcoming E3 change or just empower this course of events? Find out with us in the next few days.

Alessio PalumboBy Alessio Palumbo (1097 Posts)

Gaming writer since ages, now Founder and Editor in Chief of Worlds Factory. Clan Leader/Guild Master of La Legione del Drago, clan/guild of heroes jumping from a virtual world to another for the most epic (?) adventures ever seen.

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  • gam3r1o1

    PS4 rocks-E3 here we come!


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