I got my PlayStation 4 this week, and I’ve spent a lot of time with a few of its new features.
Replacing the select button on the controller is a “Share” button. Hitting this button at any time will immediately pause your game and take you to a share screen. Here, you have three choices: You can take a screenshot of your game and post it to your Facebook wall. You can also upload a video of your gameplay. The PlayStation 4 keeps your last 15 minutes of gameplay ready to upload at all times. From the menu you can trim the video, rename it and send it to your Facebook wall, as well.
The third option lets you resume your game and stream your gameplay over the internet. Your PlayStation connects to either Twitch.tv or Ustream, and will stream your game, audio from your microphone, and video from your camera if you have one. I watched a friend play Call of Duty: Ghosts for almost an hour this weekend. I’m not much good at Call of Duty games, so it’s actually more fun for me to watch really good players, rather than play myself.
The other fantastic use of the PlayStation 4’s streaming capability is called “PS4 Link.” This allows you to access your PlayStation 4 from anywhere in the world where you have an internet connection and Sony’s handheld game system, the PS Vita. After pairing your PS Vita to your PS4, you can select PS4 Link, and your PS4’s screen shows up on your Vita. After that, the Vita is in complete control - anything you can do or play on the PlayStation 4, you can do through the Vita. I took my Vita to work to play over my lunch period. Playing a platformer game, I noticed almost no lag and the picture was sharp. However, playing a faster-paced first-person shooter revealed that there was a little lag. The game was still playable, but the lag affected how well I could play. I wouldn’t be able to play multiplayer competitively.
Having the ability to play games from anywhere and share them with the world on command is certainly new for console gamers, but with as easy as it is with the PlayStation 4, I expect many more people to start sharing their gaming with the world.