New PS4 Update Will Let Your Friends Play Your Games Without Owning Them


Sony's coming closer to delivering on one of their PS4 promises and, soon, you'll be able to virtually hand off the games in your PS4 library to your friends.

The upcoming 2.0 system update for the PS4 will introduce the SharePlay feature, which will let users share the same game experience over the web:

The best way to think about Share Play is like a "virtual couch". PlayStation 4 will create an online local co-op experience by allowing you to invite a friend to join your game—even when they don't own a copy of it. With this first-of-its-kind feature, you'll be able to play games with a friend just as if you were together in the same room. Let's say that with games… you'll be able to invite your friend online to play against the Miami Heat for the championship as the San Antonio Spurs in NBA2K, tackle the challenging Towerfall Ascension Quest Mode together, or aide, heal, and protect you as Igniculus in Child of Light's local co-op mode.

With Share Play, you can even jump into a game to assist a friend. For example, if there is part of a game that you can't quite finish, you can invite a friend to take over your controls. Like handing over the controller to a friend on your couch, your screen will be shared as your friend gets through the part of the game that has been giving you trouble—can't get past that part in The Last of Us: Remastered when you're hanging upside down? Get a little help.

Share Play will be coming to PS4 as part of the upcoming system software update v2.00, scheduled for release this fall. The update will also add highly requested broadcast and video share features, including both uploading you game play footage and dedicated app support for YouTube, which we mentioned on stage at E3. Finally, What's New will get enhanced real-time activity through friend-of-friend suggestions, allowing instant access to friends' and recently played games' broadcasts, and a real name search function will also be added. More features to come when v2.00 is made available this fall, and we will have more to announce in the coming months.

You can read a previous mention of the SharePlay feature (before it was called that) right here:

So we've asked ourselves, "how can we improve the spectating experience?" First, what we're using is that Share button on the PlayStation 4 controller. With that one button, you can broadcast, from your game, live, 100% real-time to your friends. (...) Your friends can actually look over your shoulder virtually and interact with you while you're playing; and if you allow them, your friends can also post comments to your screen; you can solicit support from them, or you can just trash-talk with them. (...) You can ask your friend on the internet who's finished that game, to take over your controller and assist. We're building this capability into the PS4 and the PlayStation Network.