Here’s how PS4 SharePlay works

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Cher

The PlayStation 4’s great big Masamune update is hitting your console tomorrow, and one of its biggest features is something that Sony calls SharePlay. It’s a confusing feature that not too many people seem to understand – so Sony’s explaining it as a “virtual couch”.

It’ll allow you to beam your games to your friends through the internet, and let them help you in tough spots, or let them join as your co-op partner for hour long sessions – even if they don’t own the game. Here’s what you can do, according to Sony:

  • Share Screen: Share your screen with a friend, allowing them to spectate. This is ideal for PS4 owners that want to watch their friends play a game and provide helpful tips. PlayStation Plus is not required to use this.
  • Hand over my controller: Pass your controller to a friend, virtually, and watch them play. Your friend does not need to own, or even download the game, in order to use this feature. This is perfect for introducing your friends to new games. The host will need to be a PlayStation Plus member, but the guest does not.
  • Hand over another controller: If a game supports local multiplayer, you can have your friend join as player two. Again, the visitor does not need to own, or download the game in order to use this feature. Both players will need PlayStation Plus to use this feature.

I’ve got to be honest. With our low upload speeds, I just don’t see this working very well here in South Africa. Still, if it’ll let me play the amazing Towerfall: Ascension over the internet, I’m certainly keen to give it a try.

It’s a feature that’s coming in tomorrow’s update, along with a host of other things that don’t include DLNA support – but will let you play music from your USB storage media. Here’s what else you can expect from tomorrow’s update.

  • USB Music Player: PS4 owners can play their own music in the background while playing a game using USB Music Player*. After inserting a USB stick loaded with music into the PS4, a new option for USB Music Player will appear. Supported filename extensions include MP3, MP4, M4A, and 3GP.
  • Change colors: In addition to the ability to add a theme, PS4 owners can also change the background of the home screen from light blue to one of seven new colors: gold, blue, red, green, purple, pink, and gray.
  • Players You May Know: PS4 will now suggest players you may know in the ‘What’s New’ section, recommending gamers your friends frequently play with.
  • Enhancements to Live Broadcasting: Masamune brings a variety of improvements to live broadcasting on PS4. In the Live From PlayStation app, PS4 owners can now select a Featured channel, which includes official broadcasts from PlayStation, broadcasts from people on a players friend list, and any game channel that the player has followed. Additionally, Live From PlayStation now has filters for searching broadcasts on a specific game, as well as support for archived broadcasts.
  • Content Area and Library: PS4’s Content Area, which shows the latest games and apps a PS4 owner has used, has been redesigned to help make it easier to quickly find and access content. It now shows 15 of a player’s most used apps or games, and additional items will be added to a player’s Library. The Library on PS4 has improved filter and sort functions to help organize contented by type (game / app / TV & video), name (a – z or z – a), recently used, or install date.
  • Enhanced Voice Commands: The ability to control PS4 using voice has been improved. Players can now say ‘PlayStation’ to begin commands, and ‘All Commands,’ to see a list of all voice command options available. New voice commands were added for live broadcasting, including “Start broadcast,” “End broadcast,” and “Find face.”
  • Add To Library: The monthly free PlayStation Plus games will have an ‘Add to Library’ button in the PlayStation Store. This button will add a game to a PS4 owner’s library without downloading it – saving space on their hard drive.

Last Updated: October 27, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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