Sony has officially detailed their game sharing mechanism on the Playstation 4.
Game sharing is a feature previously seen on the Playstation 3, where multiple consoles could be linked to a single PSN account to provide benefits to people who didn’t have the same resources. Sony marketed the feature toward families and friends who wanted to share game libraries and it currently works very well.
None of this functionality requires a PS Plus subscription. PS4 owners enjoy all these benefits without having to go through a pay wall.
Many people sharing one console
The first detailed feature is denoting a console as a “Primary system” or a home console. Its main purpose and ability will be to share your games with other users on the same system.
Games downloaded onto the console will be available to all the other users on the same system as well as benefits such as online multiplayer and free monthly games as given out through a Playstation Plus subscription.
Sony has promised (although not shown here) a parental control feature which allows you to select what games should be available for younger viewers on the same system.
Owning multiple consoles and using one PSN account
You can use your PSN profile on multiple systems and your online game library will travel with you.
You can sign into as many PS4 systems as you want and download your games on them. However, if those other consoles belong to your friends they will have to purchase the game that was installed should they want to play it.
Sony does state that only two systems may be used concurrently with one PSN ID – the primary console and whichever one you’ve logged into. Although that does open up options for online co-0p gameplay with the same PSN ID on two separate consoles, it does not allow more than two to be used at the same time.
The benefits of having a primary console
Setting one console as the primary enables the option to stream your games over the internet on the PS Vita. Although other benefits such as access to games bought on the PS Store and automatic downloads are a nifty feature, remote play is the biggest benefit that comes out of the more restrictive sharing system.
There is a warning at the bottom noting that PS4 owners must deactivate their home consoles before disposing or reselling them. Presumably Sony does have methods in place to assist if your console breaks in such a way that you can’t do this, but there is the risk of selling your console with your account and credit card data still saved onto it.
Make more friends with the next generation
Sony also detailed the friends list in the Playstation 4’s UI, raising the limit of displayed friends to 2000 individual PSN IDs. This includes seeing status updates, game notifications, new followers and updated on the trophies your friends earn.
Similarly, all your friends in your friends list can be viewed on the PS Vita and your associated mobile phone or tablet with the Playstation application installed. Sony only currently targets Android and iOS devices for the Playstation app.
The Playstation 4 launches in South Africa on 13 December with a roster of 13 games available to purchase. Watch Dogs and Driveclub have been delayed, however the PS4 will still enjoy a strong launch lineup thanks to the likes of Battlefield 4, FIFA 14, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag and Knack.
The console will go on sale for an estimated R6,299 in South Africa with a one-year limited warranty carried by Partserve South Africa.