The PS4’s Share Button, And What It Means For Gamers

The PlayStation 4 has many features – we’ve covered ten of them recently – but one of the key selling points has to be the DualShock 4: better triggers, improved analog sticks, that smart, potentially brilliant front light, the touchpad and, yep, the share button. Above all else, that single button encapsulates Sony’s approach to next gen gaming: video is getting bigger and bigger, and the esports movement is clearly important to PlayStation.

And whilst details at this point are scarce – we don’t really know what’s possible beyond what’s already been illustrated – we’ve seen live streaming; we’ve seen other gamers offering advice and being able to jump into your game; we’ve seen being able to jump back in time as the PS4 seamlessly records everything you’re doing, and uploading that content directly to YouTube: Guerrilla apparently did this during the PS4’s February reveal with Killzone Shadow Fall.

Video can be uploaded to Facebook too, and even other users. Sadly, it appears that developers can prevent the use of the function (to avoid spoilers, is the official line) but that aside, it sounds great. Likewise, it also appears that you can save video footage to the PS4’s hard drive, at least in the current dev kit. This probably won’t be the case in the retail versions (or at least undecided as yet) but it currently means that developers can edit video away from the PS4’s own editing interface.

Interestingly though, with or without this feature, where does this leave dedicated capture cards, that have enjoyed something of a monopoly for those of us that like to push content onto sites like YouTube? If gamers can edit their own footage and get it onto the internet in a decent enough quality (and the exported Killzone Shadow Fall footage certainly looked good enough to me) why would we need an intermediary third party device to record the footage we can already grab?

Not everyone will want to really embrace the PS4’s share function, and it certainly won’t be pushed on anyone that doesn’t. But for things like TSA community events, weekly shows like our own Newsdesk and the ever growing popularity (and profitability) of Let’s Plays, that single button could be absolutely crucial to the way the PS4 is accepted by those of a more social nature. It’s new, innovative and potentially rather exciting, and I can’t wait to give it a go.

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29 Comments

  1. I really hope we can save to PS4 harddrive. It’s the only way to give videos a professional look.

  2. I think the share button is a great feature and will make it a lot easier uploading video of the TSA F1 champs, the camera’s will be watching!

  3. We’re getting very close now to actually owning the awesome new console. Can’t wait to try all the new features!

  4. Probably the feature I have the least interest in. Might push it once while testing the pad.

    For those into the whole social networking side, I reckon you will find it a great little application and I hope you get enjoyment from it.

    • I’m not into the whole social networking thing either but after uploading vids of the different TSA champs I’ve entered I’ll be glad to just sit back and let the PS4 do all the work, well most of it anyway. As for the rest of I’ll have to wait and see how useful (or not) it will be.

  5. It’s really trivial to download the 720p or 1080p MP4 video from a YouTube stream these days, so clever gamers will simply upload to their YouTube account keeping the video private, download it in 1080p, delete it from YouTube, edit it to their hearts content and the re-upload it to their channel.

    The quality might suffer ever so slightly from two uploads, but it’s basically a 1080p capture card for free in every box!

    • For all the video nerds out there, the initial compression of the video file that Youtube performs will render it useless unless it can be saved to the disk directly and then exported manually.
      It would be fine for my uses, though and thinking back at Red Faction Guerilla I would have loved to share all those silly moments I’ve experienced in that game with my friends.

      • The custom PS4 hardware compresses the video anyway, so anyone serious about their video is going to use a capture device.

  6. I have no interest in this feature at all. I’m not a ‘social-networker’, but even if I was, the last thing I’d wanna do is upload my PS4 footage for all the hot girls at work/ex-girlfriends/chicks from the pub to see!

    • You don’t just upload it to Facebook though….

  7. Have Sony detailed how to be online but not part of heir social media system or not. As I’m concerned that this sort of stuff will be pushed to me if I want to be online, when it could be irritating.

    • I’m pretty sure that is the online mode for PS4. But I imagine you could turn stuff like notifications off.

  8. It’ll be great for showing off your skills from multiplayer and to show a small walkthrough on how to obtain the tricky trophy!

    • Indeed, taking people out with skill! Think Street Fighter comebacks, killzone single man army etc. Once up and running, it will simply add to the fun!

      • I remember doing some beastly combos with Cyrax on MK9’s multiplayer. And I mean beastly. Would have liked to have uploaded those, just to show my domination :D

  9. Looking forward to this… in real life I’m quite shy but when I play COD I just yearn to show off my “skills” on YouTube for some reason, which is why I liked the video share feature on Blops and MW3 (though was annoyed that videos could only be a minute).

  10. Personally, I see no appeal in the share button, it’s just taking up space on the controller. I’m sure I’ll post the odd screenshot, but I fear that the XMB/Dynamic Home Screen or whatever it’s called now will just end up being full of people posting rubbish just like what my Facebook news feed looks like.

    • To be fair, often there’s very little use in the ‘Select’ button, at least by giving it a dedicated function it’s not rendered completely irrelevant 90% of the time in games.

    • As Blarty said, there’s far much more use in a Share button than there is in a Select button. Far more.

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