So, Sony’s upcoming update feature is going to let me borrow and play my friends’ games without actually owning them? Holy crap, I’m on board. But how does it work? And what game limitations (if any) are there?
“How it works is, for example, say, a friend has a game that I don’t. I ask them to let me play it, and if they send me an invitation, I can access their PS4 and play while watching the video that is streamed.” Said Sony Worldwide Studio big man, Shuhei Yoshida, explaining the new SharePlay feature in an interview with Weekly Famitsu. “You could call it a mini PlayStation Now.”
That sounds pretty damn awesome. While you may expect some sort of limit in what specific games will be compatible, Yoshida assured that aside from games that use the PlayStation Camera, like PLAYROOM, any game that can be played with the Dualshock 4 will be playable via SharePlay. “There is no need for developers to do anything for their games to be compatible with SharePlay.” Yoshida said.
Another feature is that players can save their game data to their own account, rather than their host’s. “You can save your save data to your own account, so if you like a game you played via SharePlay, you can buy it for yourself and continue where you left off.” Yoshida explained. “Or, if you get stuck in a game, or there’s an enemy or stage you find difficult, you could hand over the reins to a friend for those areas.”
UPDATE: A Sony representative reached out to explain that Famitsu’s interpretation of this quote was incorrect. Says Sony: “In Share Play, the visitor (the one who doesn’t own the game) takes over the host (the one who owns the game)’s account, so the visitor cannot save their play data onto their own account.”
Note that because SharePlay is basically the streaming of gameplay between 2 PS4s, it stands to reason that whoever is lending their game will basically be lending both their game AND their PS4. If your friend wants to borrow a game for an hour or so, it means you won’t be able to use your PS4 during that time — unless it’s to assist, disrupt, or just plain troll your friend.
Another catch is that since this is a PS4 exclusive feature, it is currently limited by the PS4 library, which, at the moment, is not as extensive as its predecessors’. This is a limitation that Sony is obviously hoping to change in the upcoming months.
SharePlay will be an included feature in the upcoming 2.0 system update for the PS4, scheduled for some time this year, and I can’t wait to try it out.
This post originally appeared on Kotaku UK, bringing you original reporting, game culture and humour with a U from the British isles.