Sony’s much anticipated and very successful PlayStation event occurred tonight without a hitch. During it, the company revealed a lot of exciting hardware and software for the next generation, including the PlayStation 4, new IPs such as Knack and The Witness, and gameplay trailers of new installments for established franchises like Killzone and Infamous. But perhaps the most impressive reveal of the evening can be attributed to that of the DualShock 4 controller.
Much like the picture that’s been cycling the web for the past several days, Sony’s new controller features a touchpad, a “light bar,” a headphone jack, and a share button. And that button alone has the potential to change the gaming world forever.
Let’s Plays are popular video series all over YouTube where gamers play their favorite titles and record and narrate their sessions as they go. Such videos give gamers the chance to see the stories of games they’d never play otherwise or witness new content they might not have caught on their own playthroughs of games. Up until now, the only way to make a Let’s Play video was to record gameplay on a PC using software or to purchase expensive and complicated hardware to record gameplay on a console. Now it’s entirely possible to capture gaming sessions on the PS4 itself and then, with the press of a button, share those videos with Facebook or even put them on YouTube. Such a concept is nothing short of revolutionary, and has the potential to change the gaming landscape.
But the share button does more than just give players the option to send their records of their gaming accomplishments to their friends. The share button represents an idea that proves that social gaming is where the future lies. With the PS4, gamers will have the ability to share not just videos with others, but the gaming experience itself.
Let’s say you’re playing a game you know a friend of yours has already beaten, and you’re stuck on a challenging level. With the PS4, you can give your friend control of your game over the Internet, and he can play it for you while you watch on your own TV, miles away. It’s even possible to connect with certain game’s designers and have him or her manipulate levels in real time to make it easier for you to complete. The possibilities are outstanding.
With the rise in popularity of battle arena games such as League of Legends, eSports have been gaining serious momentum, as has the desire of players to spectate online games in real time. With the PS4, this is also possible, which is sure to make plenty of casual and hardcore fans alike happy.
Finally, Sony is aiming to create it’s own social network for PlayStation fans. Partnering with Facebook and Ustream, Sony is creating its own platform for PlayStation gamers that allows them to like and share their favorite games, genres, and videos between their gaming friends. Such information is monitored by the PlayStation store, personalizing advertisements to specific gamers’ tastes. The store will even download demos of games you might be interested in automatically so if you ever do want to try then out, you can instantly.
It’s clear where Sony is going in their quest to dominate the next generation. Besides unveiling new exclusive IPs and amazing hardware, the company has shown that its ideas and innovation are just as revolutionary as the PlayStation 4 itself.