WSJ Claims PS4 Will Integrate Social Gaming Features

The PlayStation 4, now expected to be revealed in New York on the 20th of February, will feature deeply integrated social gaming features, according to the Wall Street Journal. The big reveal should beat Microsoft to the punch, unless the Redmond giant can pull together a similarly grandiose press conference in less than three weeks.

“In a nod to the changes afoot in the industry,” says the WSJ, referring to the widespread take up of smartphone gaming and social networking, “Sony is planning to incorporate more social gaming aspects into the new machine. Also, while hardware improvements were a key focus of past console upgrades, Sony is more focused this time on the changes in how users interact with the machine.”

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Previous rumours suggested the new PS4 controller has a touch pad and a ‘share’ button. That button may be used to push updates to Facebook and Twitter, for example, or within Sony’s newly discovered but still unknown social network BigFest.

The paper also claims that Sony considered removing the optical drive, but added it back in due to slow and unreliable download speeds. The PS4 is highly likely to feature Gaikai functionality in some capacity, presumably via a subscription-based backwards compatibility system (think PlayStation Plus) and the ability to instantly stream game demos.

The 20th isn’t far away, let’s hope Sony’s ‘future’ show lives up to already lofty expectations.

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33 Comments

  1. Social gaming aspects … more facialbook integration, google plus, youtube. Just what I need, NOT! In my eyes it can’t be more social then attending a TSA-meet, I do not need a ps4 for that. All the upcoming business models for making money on video gaming make me even more reluctant next gen consoles.

    • I totally agree. The more this industry goes down this route, the less interested I am.

      I already hate how I have to follow a company or like them on facebook to find out information, and search through people’s idiotic comments and such, what’s wrong with making the effort of going to their actual website, where the information should be.

      • All I want is a new machine I can watch bluray on, put in a game and play, download games and possible stream if it allows. Multimedia social stuff really doesn’t grab me either. It fluffs up the box and it gets in the way. Be nice to have options to play FPS games with mouse/keyboard and stuff like that, but I guess that is up to the devs.

      • I’m not a big user of social networks but can see why Sony would want to incorporate it into the PS4 as teenagers don’t seem to be able to live without it.
        As long as it doesn’t get in the way of playing games etc I don’t mind it being there.

    • LOL, spelling mistake, what was I thinking off!

    • I think it’s more of a self contained social network akin to the one of the PSVita.
      On it, you can see when friends get new trophies, do certain stuff in game, I can imagine this is going to be an expansion to it, rather than just Facebook/Twitter integration

  2. YAY! I can spam my mate’s facetweet pages and Twitbook accounts without having to go through the hoops. Oh wait, i forgot, i hate social apps being intergrated into gaming. I already want to punch a million puppies due to Raptr spamming my twitter every few days so having my feed spammed by the PS4 would drive me crazy and turn me into the british version of the Hulk.

    I am glad they didn’t decide to make it a download only console once they discovered only 2% of people would be able to use it in the UK as it would have resulted in it bombing if the Xbox 3 had a disc drive.

    • Oh dear God, please don’t let it spam Twitter like Raptr does…

      I’ll be Irish Hulk. The colour will suit me better anyway. :P

    • You’d spam a vegan, Stephen.

      • Why don’t people just turn those functions off on Raptr?

  3. I just hope tht the PS4 will be backwards compatible as i own near on 300 PS3 games and would hate not being able to use them on the PS4.

    • I’ve got a theory about the B/C thing…

      Sony bought Gaikai last year, to provide game streaming. But we’ve already got discs, right? So if the console’s hardware isn’t up to the job of running the disc natively, then how about its simple insertion acting as a security unlock for that self-same game’s stream from Gaikai/Sony? After all, while the disc is in the drive, it proves you own the game. Perhaps a feature that could be included in Plus?

      • I think that’s the best idea. People can still use old games then without having to re-buy. I would be strange to go into shops & have to walk by the “old” games.

      • i’ve got a better theory, PLAY THEM ON YOUR PS3.

      • Blimey! That’s a bit hostile! Not everyone has the room for two console. Some people may even want to play their PS3 games on their PS4 untill they build up a decent selection of games as chances are, PS4 games will be £45-55.

      • Why? the consumer has already proven they’re willing to rebuy their games. Sure BC is a great feature, but its not a huge selling point. And if the PS4 streams games you’ll still need to pay for the service, so theres no point for Sony to try to figure out a way to prove what PS3 games you own when you paying for the entire streaming collection anyways.

    • or you could just trade them in on PS4 games.

      • Yes could trade them in for PS4 but what happens if the games are like the vita. I brought on day one and then it was slow for games to be released in the beginning. I wouldn’t mind keeping both consoles but would be easier just to have the one and use that for my older catalogue of games and pone doesn’t end up gathering dust.

      • Its just an option, I would have to say the days of backwards compatibility are over in the video game industry, or at least the console market. Theres no shame in keeping an older collection of video games on your shelf, plus if you keep your PS3, as you’ve said you can always power it back up to play them. Although I wouldn’t be worried about a lack of games, sure the vita has its problems but its also a handheld with a very low install base. While its possible the PS4 could have the same start up issue, its unlikely, very unlikely. Publishers are ready for next gen to start so they’ll embrace it completely. But the used PS3 game market will be going strong for a long time so its not like you have to decide at PS4 launch to trade in everything.

  4. Casual gaming/facebook et al is where we are heading sadly. The Iphone and it’s ilk of IAP’s is where the money seems to be. More people are happy to drop money on an iphone and play free games with IAP’s, so in turn we get EA and the rest will see this as an idea to combat the 2nd hand trade and make cash from impatient gamers and the iphone generation of children with weak willed parents.

  5. I hate it when they shove social networking down our throats.
    When I play games I want to be in the game, not on Facetube.

  6. The paper also claims that Sony considered removing the optical drive, but added it back in due to slow and unreliable download speeds.
    …or, you know, because the EU PSN and the people in charge for it are as reliable as a fat kid guarding a cake…

    • Damn, you just made me shoot milk out my nose. I wasn’t even drinking milk…

  7. I hate social media. Partly because a) I don’t really care for my “friends” to see how much gaming I do, and b) I don’t think they care either.

    However, if they are creating a Sony social media, I wouldn’t mind it. If the only people I’m sharing with are other PS4 owners then that isn’t a problem in my eyes.

  8. I want to keep gaming seperate from social networks. If the new PlayStation has its own social network which is just between PSN users, i’m for that. However, linking up my gaming with Facebook and Twitter doesn’t interest me.

  9. The only social gaming feature that should be included is local multiplayer.

  10. Ill just pour more anti-love for social networking onto the pile. It doesn’t bother me, if I can hide it then that’s fine but if its always going to be the first thing I see like bloody SingStar then ill hold onto my ps3 for a few years longer.

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