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

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

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.

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.

Discussion

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
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message