Sharing is Caring: Introducing the PlayStation Share Button

Whether it's a video on how to get that difficult trophy or a “Let's Play,” a complete walkthrough of a game from start to finish, sharing is now ingrained as a part of gamer culture ever since YouTube came onto the scene. With the PlayStation 4, Sony is looking to tap into the essence of sharing with a new feature that looks to revolutionize the way we play, and watch, video games: the Share button.

Sharing With The World...
Located on the front of the PlayStation 4 controller, the Share button is aptly named: it allows you to share content with other PlayStation Network users. Some examples of the content you can share are screen shots and either prerecorded or live video. To share a screen shot, simply hold down the “Share” button for a few seconds and the PlayStation 4 will take a picture of whatever is on screen. Want to share that epic kill in multiplayer deathmatch with your friends? Snap a quick picture with the Share button. Found a mesmerizing example of the PlayStation 4's graphical capabilities? Upload it to your profile for everyone else to view. You can not only share content with the PlayStation Network but on social networks such as Facebook and Ustream as well.

The PlayStation 4 records the last 15 minutes of gameplay at all times, enabling you to use the Share button to locate that awesome moment when you shot down three people at once in Call of Duty. Simply play as normal and when that awesome moment appears out of nowhere, you can be rest assured the PlayStation 4 captured it. If you're confident in your gaming abilities and want to demonstrate to the world said abilities on a real-time basis, the Share button can be used to stream live gameplay, letting others watch and comment on your gaming skills as you play.

The Share feature isn't just about sharing your gameplay with others visually; the feature also enables you to take control of another player's game as well via online. If your friend is having a particularly rough time conquering a particular boss, you can use the Share feature to take control of his game from your own PlayStation 4, beating the boss and returning control back to him. Likewise, another example of this feature is helping your friend out while viewing his game, such as dropping health potions if you see that he is low on health.

Sharing is Caring: Introducing the PlayStation Share ButtonThe Share feature takes interactive gameplay to a whole new level.

... But Only If Developers Allow It
Recently, it has been unveiled that there is one downside to the Share feature: developers can disable it in their games. Some examples given for disabling it were so gamers did not share plot twists or final bosses, ruining the experience for others, and reviewers only having limited sharing functionality on review copies of games. While this approach makes sense, we say let the gamers police themselves: if you don't want a game to be spoiled, just don't view any shared information about it. It's similar to how if you don't want to know the spoilers for a game in the current generation you avoid any and all information found on message boards and websites until you finish the game. Nobody wants to watch a live playthrough of a game only for the stream to cut out at the end due to the developer's whims.

However, not all developers feel this way, and two in particular, David Cage and Seth Killian, wholeheartedly support the Share feature and are excited by the opportunities it provides.

In an interview with Kotaku, Cage stated “ No, [the Share feature] doesn’t scare me at all,” he laughed. “We want that ‘water cooler effect’. We had it on Heavy Rain. People talked about it, and they said, ‘I did this. What did you do?’ The only difference is that now they will be able to capture and share it with their friends. That’s fine. People bought the game. They are free to enjoy it the way they want.”

Likewise, Seth Killian spoke to EventHubs about how the Share button will “break the doors open” with the fighting game community, due to more people being able to share gameplay footage than ever before.

The Share button is one of Sony's biggest strengths and at PS4 Experts, we are excited to see just how far the possibilities of this feature extend. We'll be sure to share any new information with you as we receive it so check back often!

Article by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 5/9/2013

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