Sony takes a bite of Microsoft's lunch with new Share Play feature

Earlier this year at E3, Sony had mentioned that new features would be coming the the PlayStation 4 via a software update. Today, Sony has announced that the PlayStation 4 update version 2.00 will include many new features -- most notably the addition of "Share Play," which acts like a "virtual couch;" allowing you to have a "online local co-op experience" by inviting your friends to join a game you're playing, even when they don't own it.

The "Share Play" feature, which is similar to the ten person game sharing functionality that the Xbox One could have had, will allow you to play titles with your friends as if both of you were in the same room, as well as giving your friends the ability for you to assist them in-game by virtually "handing over the controller" to you.

While this is not as good as what Microsoft wanted with the Xbox One, it is a similar concept where a friend who does not own a game can still play the games you have purchased. It's a unique feature and one that Microsoft wanted to deliver but the backlash following the announcement because of poorly communicated marketing from Microsoft, killed the feature, for now.

In addition, the update will include broadcasting and video sharing features, which includes uploading your own gameplay footage, as well as the dedicated app support for YouTube that was first mentioned at their E3 press conference. Lastly, there will be real-time activity through friend-of-friend suggestions in What's New, as well as the addition of a real name search function.

They state that there will be more features added, and more announcements to be made before the update is released sometime this fall.

Source: PlayStation

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Today, Sony has announced that the PlayStation 4 update version 2.00 will include many new features -- most notably the addition of "Share Play," which acts like a "virtual couch;" allowing you to have a "online local co-op experience" by inviting your friends to join a game you're playing, even when they don't own it.

Isn't this sort of like DS Download Play?

I'm now having flashbacks of being forced to play as Shy Guy when I forgot to bring my copy of Mario Kart DS at a friend's house.

MASTER260 said,

Isn't this sort of like DS Download Play?

Sorry, meant to say an online version of DS Download Play. Well, at least, an online version of one of DS Download Play's features.

I need to hear details on the Share Play feature before I make a judgement. How many people can you do it with? For how long at a time can you play? Any limits on the amount of times you can invite a person? These are legit questions because otherwise for MP games that have co-op or support it why pay for a second copy? Sony's not dumb, there's rules to this but you always present the glossy side to the public. I'll wait for the other shoe to drop before deciding whether this is a blow to MS or not.

pcweber111 said,
I need to hear details on the Share Play feature before I make a judgement. How many people can you do it with? For how long at a time can you play? Any limits on the amount of times you can invite a person? These are legit questions because otherwise for MP games that have co-op or support it why pay for a second copy? Sony's not dumb, there's rules to this but you always present the glossy side to the public. I'll wait for the other shoe to drop before deciding whether this is a blow to MS or not.

Thanks for thinking of this an open mind that not everything appears great all at once. Why have they not released the details of how, when, where and who knows what else.

I suspect you can only do it with one person at a time. I don't think it would work with like 4 players but I could be wrong. I doubt there is a limit on the number of people you can do it with in general though so if you want to share games, one after another, with 10,000 people go for it. I also doubt there is a time limit or limit on the number of times you invite a single person. Why buy a second copy? Because if I have game X and want to play with you then sure you don't have to buy the game but you can only play the game then when I decide to run it and invite you. If I'm cool with running the game every time you want to play then you don't need to buy the game. If it's a 2 player co-op game you'll never be able to play with anyone but me (unless they invite you to their game). If you want to play the game whenever you like and invite whoever you want then you need to buy it yourself. You aren't sharing the game itself, you're sharing a specific gaming session.

just a small tip for xbox one owners

your friend can sign into your xbox,and go to the settings and make that xbox his home xbox

you sign into your friends xbox,and make it your home xbox

now any game you buy will also show up on your friends xbox,and any games he buys will show up on your xbox. you don't have to be signed into each others profiles, only yours. and you can play the same games together. So if you bought COD or BF4 for example on your xbox, your friend goes to "my games and apps" on his xbox, and the game will show up there as ready to install. he/she installs it,and you then play together multiplayer each on your own xbox.

This is completely different than Microsoft's proposed game sharing feature. Besides, this isn't really news. This feature was announced a while ago for the PS4.

I don't see how this is "taking a bite of Microsoft's lunch" when both features are completely different.

What MS wanted to do is sharing your gaming library, while this is about sharing the gameplay. Ie. sort of lending games to friends vs not being able to lend games but "play" together remotely as if you were both on the same couch.

And then this was announced prior to the PS4 release, so it isn't actually a new idea they have just come up with either.

Doesn't this feature just video stream the game to the other player? I don't think they actually download the game & run it on their ps4.

LOL. I was wondering why they had a pic of a grey PS2 at first. It looks dingy. Terrible color.

JHBrown said,
That is one sexy looking PS4 pictured above.

XBox was the shining light the Microsoft could manage a successful hardware business, it looks like Xbox is going the way of Zune, Kin, Windows Phone and Surface.

derekaw said,
XBox was the shining light the Microsoft could manage a successful hardware business, it looks like Xbox is going the way of Zune, Kin, Windows Phone and Surface.

That made no sense. You bundled Kin, which defined a failed product, with Windows Phone. In the states WP can't break through the iBarrier but in other parts of the world, it's got double digit marketshare. Just say Kin if you want to get your point across. And no, Xbox isn't going the way of that at all. They just need to get rid of the stigma they created last year and offer more perks.

Smashing feature. Should get some good use, sometimes you just want to co-op with your friends and not have all the online multiplayer rubbish as well.

One thing though, as far as i remember, MS never announced such a thing. They said you could 'share your library' which is a completely different thing to what Sony are doing.

Correct me if i'm wrong.

Edit: Just saw KevinN206's reply. Looks like i was right.

Geezy said,
Why not? It's just a streaming feature like remote play with Vita, you can use all games.

Pretty sure it will be up to the developer. Its already been stated far cry 4 will come with ten tokens for sharing. Then what, you have to buy more?

Why on earth would developers embrace this? There has to be some kind of financial guarantee behind this from Sony to the devs to guarantee some revenue. Financially it could be devastating to devs/publishers. One copy of a game gets played co-op by two people -> game is finished -> game sold to reseller -> 2 more people play game, etc. Instead of 4 copies being sold, they sell 1.

Geezy said,
Why not? It's just a streaming feature like remote play with Vita, you can use all games.

Guantaco said,

Pretty sure it will be up to the developer. Its already been stated far cry 4 will come with ten tokens for sharing. Then what, you have to buy more?
UbiSoft's co-op play (2+ ppl at once, only works in FC4, players download and run game locally) is different from Sony's Share Play (2+ people take turns controlling the same character, only 1 player at a time can play, any game can be used, game is captured and streamed from the owner's console to friends)
shastasheen said,
Why on earth would developers embrace this?
After getting a taste of the game, your friends might want to buy the game so they can experience the full thing without having to wait for you to come online and play on your schedule?

Or conversely, they could experience the game and realize it's not very good and never buy it.

Geezy said,
UbiSoft's co-op play (2+ ppl at once, only works in FC4, players download and run game locally) is different from Sony's Share Play (2+ people take turns controlling the same character, only 1 player at a time can play, any game can be used, game is captured and streamed from the owner's console to friends)
After getting a taste of the game, your friends might want to buy the game so they can experience the full thing without having to wait for you to come online and play on your schedule?

Sounds great for the gamer, and bad for terrible games. Unless drunken hot-potato gaming becomes a thing, then some so-bad-it's-funny games might sell more.

" but the backlash following the announcement because of poorly communicated marketing from Microsoft, killed the feature, for now."

I don't think it was poorly-communicated. The whiners simply refused to look beyond the DRM issue.

The two features are kinda opposite of each other. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, but they are fundamentally different. The one thing that's the similar is that it's "sharing". I personally prefer the XB1 more but would love to have PS4 features too. Point 3 below makes them polar opposite.

PS4 Share Play:
1. Allows to have one friend co-op
2. Allows a friend to take over a game while you are playing
3. You must be playing for co-op or assist (the friend can't play if you aren't playing)

XB1 Family Sharing:
1. Up to 10-person family sharing
2. Share their entire game library
3. No more than one person can play the game at a time (implied that you DON'T have to be playing the game for a friend to play it). However, you can't play if he's playing it and reverse is true.

PS4 Share Play:
4. It's coming for sure.

XB1 Family Sharing:
4. They cancelled it, current fate unknown.

Which sort of gives the PS4 the advantage here.

Ambroos said,
PS4 Share Play:
4. It's coming for sure.

XB1 Family Sharing:
4. They cancelled it, current fate unknown.

Which sort of gives the PS4 the advantage here.


It'd be sad if Microsoft canceled it, seeing as even Steam is working to loosen up their services for household sharing.

dead.cell said,

It'd be sad if Microsoft canceled it, seeing as even Steam is working to loosen up their services for household sharing.

I'm pretty sure it's canceled, at least in the previous form. Maybe they'll come up with some other game sharing capability (maybe even copy Sony) but the whole "phone home" thing was critical for the DRM of what they wanted to do and that's not coming back.

Sony's idea only lets you play the game when the owner is running it so the owner actually running the game is effectively the DRM. If you don't like this "DRM" you don't have to use the share play capability, it doesn't effect anything else. This is different from MS since your entire library was shared and only one person could use a title at a time it impacts every game, even single player, with no opt-out capability.

just quickly implement universal apps on xbox one and make windows apps available on it and they will be ahead of the game. Also, am I the only one who wants miracast receive capabilities on XBOX one?

i like how microsoft was way ahead of the game when the xbox was first announced and now sony is doing similar things that microsoft said that they wanted to do, but didn't because all that people heard was needs an internet connection.

watsxn said,
i like how microsoft was way ahead of the game when the xbox was first announced and now sony is doing similar things that microsoft said that they wanted to do, but didn't because all that people heard was needs an internet connection.

I don't remember them being able to play at the same time...

MS fans always say the same thing, "but but MS had tablets 15 years ago and Apple is copying them...but but Windows had transparency with vista so the new Mac OS is copying....but but MS said they would have this feature and now Sony is copying..."

Sometimes MS comes up with great ideas, true, but they have a poor track record when it comes to the implementation of said ideas. This is just another example of Microsoft dropping the ball and their competition capitalizing.

blah blah blah, is there a macro for this comment or something, I hear it every other day, what is it alt, shift, control f11?

virtorio said,
People weren't against the ideas on the Xbox One, but were against how they were being implemented.

This always makes me laugh.

The same people who complained about this 'implementation' would never go without internet a day. I haven't had a full day outage on my ISP since my whole City was flooded in around 06'.

Although, I'm not saying they weren't any genuine people out there who it effected. MS probably would of patched something in which could of deviated it. Makes me laugh how people usually tag EA Access as a good service which also follows the same principle as the original idea. Even Steam has family sharing now and that's the best thing since sliced bread according to the Internet.

I have incredibly unreliable internet, especially when it rains. An Xbox One with a 24 hour check-in would have absolutely caused problems for me.

For the thousandth time, when you have a guy like Don Mattrick who sits and tells his audience to "Get a 360" when offline, you're going to have people upset.

Seriously, that guy coupled with Adam Orth and "Major Nelson" being arrogant jerks, do you really expect anything different? "Hey man, I just want to play your games! Screw me, right?" is the feeling many had.

Poor PR, poor explanation, and the lack of time to actually compromise on everyone's concerns is what set everything back. This is Microsoft's fault. Can we quit mis-remembering the past? Can we quit blaming gamers who just wanted to play games?

Lastly, coming up with great ideas won't get you a golden seat up front. Just ask Opera who is responsible for some great ideas for web browsers, yet are increasingly forgotten about, even in many web browser performance test articles these days.

I still believe the vast majority of people freaking out over MS's online plans were hardcore Sony fanbois who had no intention of purchasing an Xbox One, and would sound off on any Xbox feature as a negative. Physical media will be all but dead in a few years. The last games I bought on physical media were at launch. All digital since then.

shastasheen said,
I still believe the vast majority of people freaking out over MS's online plans were hardcore Sony fanbois who had no intention of purchasing an Xbox One, and would sound off on any Xbox feature as a negative. Physical media will be all but dead in a few years. The last games I bought on physical media were at launch. All digital since then.

And you can continue believing that if you wish, but it's not what happened. Again, see Microsoft's PR.

There's a good reason Don Mattrick and Adam Orth no longer work for Microsoft.

shastasheen said,
Physical media will be all but dead in a few years. The last games I bought on physical media were at launch. All digital since then.

Sorry, but until BS like the following stops, I'll stick with physical media:

http://www.theguardian.com/mon...mers-kindle-deletes-account
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/...rm-is-a-baffling-throwback/
http://www.reddit.com/r/Steam/...y_removed_their_first_game/
http://www.qj.net/pc-gaming/ne...deletes-inactive-games.html

it would be silly of sony not to jump on that.

honestly, this console war is not so black and white, and while i chose sony last time around (and definately in previous round of xbox vs ps2) i am not sure who to support now.

i already owned (and sold on) both consoles.a

Both, if you can afford it. If not, just look at the games:

This is what was presented at gamescom. CP = Cross Platform PS4/XBox One

Microsoft:
- Goat Simulator
- Fable Legends
- Assassin's Creed Unity (CP)
- FIFA 15 (CP)
- Forza 5
- Halo Collection
- Halo 5
- Sunset Overdrive
- Evolve (CP)
- Ori and the Blind Forest
- Quantum Break
- Screamride
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
- Smite

Sony:
- Silent Hills
- Infamous: First Light
- Driveclub
- Wild
- In Space We Brawl
- Tearaway Unfolded
- Until Dawn
- Far Cry 4 (CP)
- Metal Gear Solid 5
- Destiny (CP)
- Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (CP)
- Rime
- Hellblade (CP)
- Hollowpoint
- The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
- DayZ (CP?)
- The Tomorrow Children
- Volume
- Bloodborne
- The Order: 1886
- Journey / Unfinished Swan remakes

Which console has more games that you're looking forward to?

Even more are multiplatform I think. I guess Sony and MS did what they did at E3 and didn't show duplicate games off. Which is why MS showed Witcher 3 and Sony showed GTA 5, both multiplats.

Guillermo del Toro and Hideo Kojima are working on that Silent Hill title right? If it's PS4 exclusive... man, you can bet I'll be picking up a PS4 then, even if it isn't $299 like I'd want.