UPDATE: Eurogamer reports that guests will be capped at a resolution of 720p during Share Play sessions.
Frame-rates will also be affected. Sony hasn’t officially revealed recommended or minimum connection speed requirements for Share Play, but we should have more info when System Firmware Update 2.00 launches tomorrow.
Original story as follows.
The PS4’s new System v2.00 update (codenamed Masamune) drops tomorrow and brings with it one of the most impressive features of any console generation: Share Play.
Basically Share Play is a virtualized couch that allows gamers to hand their controller off to online friends. Game sessions are essentially streamed from one console to another via the online PlayStation Network. The new mode is an exceptionally intuitive way to let other players try out games in an interactive social-demo type of environment.
Here’s how it works: with a PS Plus membership you can let your friends play your game in one-hour sessions, even if they don’t own the game itself. There are no limits as to how many sessions you can start in Share Play.
Although the host has to be an active PlayStation Plus member, the guest doesn’t need a subscription. Additionally guests don’t have to download anything in order to “take control” of the host’s play sessions. The host can also take back control of the session at any time should the guest start intentionally failing missions or playing terribly.
If you and a friend both have PlayStation Plus, Share Play lets you play a local multiplayer game online by simulated virtualized local co-op via the internet.
This is extremely useful for addictive local co-op indies like TowerFall Ascension.
Share Play even has something for non-PS Plus subscribers; with Share Screen, gamers can essentially broadcast their screens to friends in the party, allowing them to share their experiences in real-time.
PlayStation PR exec Andrew Kelly also reveals that guests can earn trophies for the host in Share Play.
“Trophies gained during Share Play will be reflected on the host’s account, not the visitor’s,” Kelly said in the video above.
This goes in line with the spirit of allowing friends to help you out on a hard mission or sequence in a game, but it should be used within reason–letting your friends earn ALL your trophies could be a problem.
Kelly also says that while there is no limit on Share Play sessions, the playtime will be limited to 60 minutes “regardless if both users own the game“.
Share Play is party-based, meaning you’ll have to invite a friend to a private party to initiate it. We’re not sure if the following modes are limited to just two party members, but the Share Screen feature might be available for up to six players.
There you have it–that’s Share Play in a nutshell. We’re not sure on some specifics like if Share Play works with more than one party member, or how network-intensive the feature will be.
Hopefully the new social feature will be as amazing as it sounds, and we’ll be sure to give you impressions on the feature when PS4 System Firmware Update 2.00 drops tomorrow.