As the summer video game lull winds down and the industry prepares for the next big event in Germany (Gamescom), the last ‘big show’ before the next-gen consoles arrive this fall, the last bits of missing information are beginning to surface, the latest of which surrounds one of the main new features coming to upcoming consoles.
Sony was first to unveil their hardware in the spring, the PlayStation 4, and with it, a controller that featured a Share button that lets players record and capture in-game screenshots and video and immediately share them online. Microsoft’s Xbox One offers a similar feature with the one key difference in that it’s behind a pay wall.
The bit of news came via an Xbox Live features page update (below) and immediately gamers began wondering if for the PlayStation 4 equivalent, PS Plus would be required.
As has been the case with most policies and requirements between the PS4 and Xbox One, once Microsoft says something, Sony says something a tad nicer in the eyes of critics. Shuhei Yoshida, President of Worldwide Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment responded to a series of tweets, offering the same response to everyone:
@James1o1o all— Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) August 8, 2013
PlayStation Plus is not required in order to record and share gameplay on the PS4. While that’s more pro-consumer than the Xbox One policy of putting the features behind the Gold Membership pay wall, most users who will embrace the sharing features are those with fast internet who actively play games – the same users who are mostly likely buying into PS Plus/Xbox Live Gold depending on their console preference since they’re required to play games online on their respective consoles in the next generation.
If all things were right in the gaming industry, the premium subscriptions wouldn’t be required for gamers to play the games they paid for online with friends, and that would make a big difference than if Microsoft had the sharing features behind a pay wall since the PS4 would benefit greatly from the free viral marketing of users making videos of PS4 content. As it stands, it won’t make a difference since players on both platforms are required to pay monthly to get most of the basic online console features as it stands. PS4′s streaming being entirely free will help them get more content on the web, player counts and game offerings being equal (which they’re not).
Not a fan of the layers of costs coming with the next generation of home consoles? Playing online, recording and uploading to YouTube, Twitch, Ustream, etc. is all free on PC. Valve should take advantage of that come time for the Steam console.
The PlayStation 4 releases Holiday 2013.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.