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.