You’d think that as someone who enjoys video games and does social media for a living I’d be overjoyed about the news that the next Playstation will feature a share button, but too be honest I’ve mixed feelings about it.
It’s not that I wouldn’t like to see more integration between social and gaming nor that I don’t feel that this is should be baked into the hardware itself – its more that the concept feels, well…old and frankly a little irrelevant.
When the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 launched back in 2005 – 2006 social was still in a fairly undeveloped state and in no state to be considered for integration into consoles. Since then both platforms have added social features (and in the case Xbox removed them again) to their online services and various games have included integration with social platforms with varying degrees of success.
Whilst there is certainly a requirement for shared content from gaming experiences I’ve never gotten the impression that it’s high on gamer’s lists in terms of killer features. What’s more the promised integration of this share button with Facebook could end up with people’s newsfeeds being littered with impersonal and likely annoying clips from games – maybe I’m getting too old for this but I don’t see the youngsters embracing that either.
I’d have thought YouTube would be a better place to share this kind of content but at launch it seems that Sony have opted for Ustream as a partner instead – sure a great platform but not really a widely known one.
Ultimately then, Sony will need to think about how to use the share button innovatively in the coming months or risk both complaints that the controller could have instead featured a more useful feature and the real likelihood that it will feel like an anachronism at launch.