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Thursday, November 20, 2014

PS4 Share Play: Made Useless by Sony

Remember that stupid preview during the PlayStation 4 reveal that showed the console's supposed ability to allow one to hand over the game controller virtually over the Internet to allow the other person to help complete a section of a game that one has troubles with? I thought it was a stupid feature back then because the whole really beats the purpose of one buying a video game in the first place if one is not going to play it by him or herself. Well, the "Share Play" feature finally arrived at the end of last month - notice the release delay - and I hadn't been bothered to check it out until yesterday. In addition to allowing you to let others play your games for you, which is a deliciously sloppy wet dream for trophy whores who can now recruit help from their more determined friends, this feature supposedly would also allow you to hand over a second controller virtually to your friend. which basically means that even games that have no online multiplayer function can be played with a friend. An acquaintance of mine wanted to test out the local multiplayer of Skylanders: Trap Team with me only to discover a message which stated that the game screen was not allowed to be shared and was restricted for our country and region! We were both shocked.

Sony has given the controller over to the developers so don't even bother with it.

Further research revealed that Sony had actually provided developers the ability to block this feature for the games of their choosing - now how stupid is that? As if it was not weird enough that they implemented a 60 minutes limit per Share Play session though one can reconnect for more after the time expired but with developers blocking games left and right, this feature has now become useless. Sony needs to grow some balls and tell developers that if they want to release their games on the PlayStation 4, the Share Play feature must be enabled. I understand the fear here - developers want to make sure that people will buy their games instead of playing their friend's copy virtually over the Internet but Sony should have learned from Valve, who fully enables Family Sharing of games on Steam and how that feature didn't ruin Valve's relationship with developers with plenty of games being released on Steam nonstop. Sony has missed out on a really huge opportunity to make the PS4 shine. So they want people to pay money for that stupid PlayStation Plus subscription by ensuring that online multiplayer becomes unavailable without it but then they would limit the ability for people to play local co-op games virtually. Bad move Sony.

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