One of the PS4’s most prominent features is the Share button, which allows gamers to make their gaming ubiquitous with their social networking routines by making it exceedingly easy to edit and post content online. At it’s core, the feature allows you to edit/upload game play clips/pictures to the typical social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as stream game play footage live to Twitch, YouTube or Ustream. If you are looking for a fun and very interactive way to get even more enjoyment out of your PS4, read on.
Though not as robust as editing video on your computer, the PS4 does contain a simple but easy to use utility to edit game play videos to share with friends. Within the Share settings, gamers can set the intervals of time the PS4 will record game play in the background, usually capping off at 10 or 15 minute blocks. Once the recording has been stopped, you can snip the video down to the special moment you wish to capture, or provide a several-minute long movie. Keep in mind the limitations, as Twitter will only allow a maximum of 10 seconds in a video tweet. Facebook is a bit more liberal with the video time, which upon posting, you can re-tweet to get around this limitation.
The real meat and bones is the live streaming feature, a sign that social gaming has become the new trend in the video game industry. Prior to the current generation of game consoles adopting this as a built in feature, game streaming was limited tot hose who had powerful computers and the necessary equipment (PVR, headset, software, web cam, etc). The PS4 will stream your game play to your service of choice directly from the system (provided your internet connection can handle it, I recommend a minimum of 5Mbps upload). You can also use your PS4 headset for voice communication, as you can also play using a special overlay that shows viewer count, text messages and a banner message for viewers. You can also use the PlayStation Camera. What Sony has done is condensed the entire setup of a full console streaming setup entirely into their console, which actually performs well with no issues of lag or desynching. The system will also pause the stream automatically if anything with sensitive information, like payment info for DLC, shows up on screen.
The PS4 itself does a great job at advertising your presence to other PlayStation Network users. The Live From PlayStation app on the PS4 dashboard is a large portal that connects you with others as they broadcast their game play live, and share their individual screenshots and videos, all of which can accumulate likes, shares and give the player a promotional base. Though the app is simply replaying broadcasts it is already providing for Twitch, YouTube and Ustream, this offers a seamless platform for PS4 users to view other players content in a familiar setting and offers them the chance to dive into it as well. Everything is automated, requiring little input from the user as far as promotion. Simply broadcast your game play, share your recordings and watch your popularity grow. As usual, the more the merrier. The more content you share, the more you will be noticed. Gaming with the world watching is always way more fun.
Though it is easy to see this new feature as a way to just simply harness the power of bragging rights in today’s internet-ready world, it’s real benefit is making gaming more of a social hobby than a reclusive one. Instead of having to send blurry Polaroids to gaming magazines to hopefully get published in next month’s issue, players now have a fun, simple, and most importantly ubiquitous experience with their gaming. Where Microsoft had started the social gaming trend in the early 2000’s with the launch of Xbox Live and the slogan “It’s good to play together”, Sony has taken not only a step, but a gigantic leap forward with that concept, and we are all more than happy to see what that brings to the table as far is maximizing the usage out of the PS4.