At Gamescom yesterday Sony announced some details on the PlayStation 4 v2.00 console update due out this fall. One new feature will be Share Play, which allows someone who owns a game to invite a friend to play along with them even if that friend doesn’t own the game.
The best way to think about Share Play is like a “virtual couch”. PlayStation 4 will create an online local co-op experience by allowing you to invite a friend to join your game—even when they don’t own a copy of it. With this first-of-its-kind feature, you’ll be able to play games with a friend just as if you were together in the same room. Let’s say that with games… you’ll be able to invite your friend online to play against the Miami Heat for the championship as the San Antonio Spurs in NBA2K, tackle the challenging Towerfall Ascension Quest Mode together, or aide, heal, and protect you as Igniculus in Child of Light’s local co-op mode.
With Share Play, you can even jump into a game to assist a friend. For example, if there is part of a game that you can’t quite finish, you can invite a friend to take over your controls. Like handing over the controller to a friend on your couch, your screen will be shared as your friend gets through the part of the game that has been giving you trouble—can’t get past that part in The Last of Us: Remastered when you’re hanging upside down? Get a little help.
The ability to join a friend’s game without owning it was most recently mentioned at E3 in relation to Far Cry 4’s co-op and the intriguing possibilities it would open up for sports games as well as whether it was realistic for them was tackled in this article. In the video podcast below I’m joined by T.J. Lauerman (@ThatSportsGamer) to talk about Share Play and what it could mean for sports games in the future.