I am beginning to believe that this is the point in the next-gen line where several of the awesome features that have been announced will reveal some frustrating information. During Sony’s PS4 reveal, they highly emphasized social interaction through their new console, showing off the new share button feature that will allow players to take screenshots and share videos of their games without having to use other computer-centered tools. This excited me in theory. But new developments have… developed, and apparently PlayStation 4 developers will have the ability to selectively disable parts of games they don’t want to be shared.
Why? Because of spoilers.
“There will be parts of a game that the maker does not want people to be able to see,” Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida told 4gamer (translated by Edge). “For example, on Vita, developers can in certain scenes disable the feature that lets users take a screenshot, and (the Share function) will have a similar mechanism. The creator may not want to make video of the final boss sharable, for instance.”
I find this absolutely ridiculous, and honestly I see this as just another way for developers to hinder the freedom of sharing content. YouTube, Twitch, and other popular areas of the internet have thrived off of the ability to record, stream, and share all aspects of different video games, without a single concern about spoiling game content. Why? Because people want to see it! Unless the game hasn’t been officially released, I have never heard of one person complain about spoilers after searching for particular titles online. And in most cases, many people crave spoilers! In a way, Let’s Plays and online video reviews have taken over sales pitches and convinced gamers to pick up titles they probably never would have considered otherwise. It seems silly that Sony would debilitate that section of their “social experience,” especially considering that many people (including myself) will still probably continue to use tools such as HD PVRs.
While I knew that certain specs of information would potentially begin to deflate the hype Sony had successfully built for the PS4, this not only disappoints me but confuses me. However, the extent of this power is ultimately unknown at the moment, and could be miniscule at the most.