PlayStation 4 invests in social media to win new generation of gamers

Sony's much-anticipated next-generation PlayStation 4 games console will feature an array of social functions that allow gamers to share content and interact with other users via their smartphones.

PS4: invests in social media
PS4: invests in social media

Sony yesterday unveiled preliminary details of the successor to the PlayStation 3 (PS3) at an event in New York’s Manhattan Center, including the news that it will go on sale in time for Christmas.

"Cloud gaming" will form a core part of Sony’s new device, allowing consumers to stream games from previous generation consoles and play them instantly. The technology that drives this has been developed by Gaikai, a company Sony bought in 2012.

The console will be significantly more powerful than the current PS3, with hyper-realistic graphics and hardware features including a controller bearing a touchpad and reflector strip to allow users to interact via motion-sensing with the console’s Eye camera.

Industry observers said these tactile elements of control have been driven by the growing popularity of touchscreen devices such as the iPad and Sony-manufactured Android-powered devices.

DuBose Cole, a strategist at Mindshare UK, said: "The social functions of the PS4, including the dedicated 'share' button for game video clips, Ustream multicasting and live 'spectator' modes all treat gaming as something to be celebrated, shared and viewed by others."

But he stressed that PS4’s new social functionality might be merely preaching to the converted.

He said: "The social functions link] directly into video elements of gaming already found in social media like YouTube.

"But it raises the question if it will increase the amount of people who frequently share gaming content. For those that would already watch a video of someone beating a game or pulling off an amazing feat, these features are incredibly useful, but the risk remains that it won't scale to foster wider sharing behaviour on the level the hardware integration anticipates."

Third-party games publishers expressed enthusiastic support for the new console, with launch games to include Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs.

But stiff competition is set to come from rival console-maker Microsoft, which itself is gearing up to unveil its Xbox 360 successor, which games industry observers expect will occur at the E3 Show in Los Angeles in June.

The PlayStation 3 went on sale in 2006 and to date has sold around 75 million units.

Have your say...

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Media Week Jobs
Search for more media jobs

Latest

PHD co-founder Jonathan Durden reflects 25 years on

PHD co-founder Jonathan Durden reflects 25 years on

Who knew that a global phenomenon could be spawned from such humble beginnings? PHD co-founder Jonathan Durden takes a trip down memory lane.

Share
Friday's lesson? We should all be more unprofessional

Friday's lesson? We should all be more unprofessional

What kind of time is 18:05 to you? Home time? Carry on working time? Bloody big glass of wine time? At Brand Republic we know it's often time to recoup, when the day's meetings are over and you can catch up on the most important developments of the day. Our 18:05 digest brings you the five things you need to know at the end of every day. Whether it's the top news stories, what's trending on social, what the wider media is saying or irreverent inspiration for your journey home - we've got it covered. And don't worry, we'll keep it short.

Share
#MediaWeek30 set for bumper issue and party on 29 April

#MediaWeek30 set for bumper issue and party on 29 April

Media Week's 30th celebrations are taking shape, offering the chance for the UK's vibrant commercial media businesses to get involved.

Share

Get news by email