GamesBeat

PS4's Share Play enables your friends to play along with you even if they don't own the game

PlayStation 4's share button will enable you to invite friends to your games online.

Above: PlayStation 4's share button will enable you to invite friends to your games online.

Image Credit: Sony
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Sony is preparing to release the latest update for the PlayStation 4, and it will provide you with more ways to play games with your friends online.

The marquee feature of the 2.0 PS4 update is Share Play. This new capability enables you to create online sessions for local co-op games that you can then invite your friends to join. Just like with a real local co-op session, your friends don’t need to own the game to start playing with you online using Share Play. PS4 firmware 2.0 is due out this fall, according to Sony.

In addition to local co-op games, Share Play also empowers players to let their friends remotely control a single-player mode online. This is good for moments when you may need your 8-year-old niece to show you how to find all of the hidden items in Infamous: Second Son.

“The best way to think about Share Play is like a ‘virtual couch,'” Sony Computer Entertainment America product development boss Scott McCarthy wrote in a blog. “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.”

Of course, this feature isn’t really practical if you have to download an entire game before you can jump in to help your friends — thankfully, it doesn’t work like that. Instead, Sony will use its streaming technology Gaikai, which also powers PlayStation Now, to enable players to instantly jump into a friends game.

Sony first revealed this kind of feature when it originally announced the PlayStation 4 last year. It is finally delivering on its promise.

In addition to Share Play, 2.0 will also introduce new video broadcasting and recording features. That includes the ability to upload gameplay footage directly to YouTube. Sony will also update its “What’s New” activity feed to help you keep track of what your friends are doing online.