Microsoft had a pretty good showing earlier today, but Sony’s briefing ahead of Gamescom in Germany tonight offered a relentless array of game announcements - and notably, some big news regarding the PS4 and PlayStation TV.
The v2.00 firmware update for PlayStation 4 - which has passed 10 million in worldwide console sales - is due this autumn, and as the version number indicates, it’ll be a large one. Most notable amongst the additions thus far is Share Play, which Sony likens to creating a “virtual sofa” online for PlayStation Plus members.
In essence, you can bring a friend into your game even if he or she doesn’t also own the game, allowing for a pass-the-controller kind of experience via PlayStation Network. The friend doesn’t even need to download the game in question; it will be streamed to his or her console during Share Play.
The update will also make it easier to find your real-world friends, allow video sharing to YouTube (with a dedicated app for the service), and deliver enhanced functionality for the system’s What’s New screen. That’s all due sometime this autumn.
PlayStation TV and Now dated
Additionally, Sony announced that the PlayStation TV micro-console - effectively the guts of a PlayStation Vita in a tiny box that hooks up to your television - will hit all of Europe on 14 November for €99, with three digital games planned for inclusion. No UK-specific price was mentioned.
And lastly, the PlayStation Now streaming service - which delivers PS3, PS2, PSone, and eventually PS4 games to all manner of platforms, like PS4, PS4, Vita, and PlayStation TV - will hit Europe in 2015, with the UK getting a first crack at a beta test at some point before launch.
The Now beta is currently running in North America, where many users have complained of the rental prices for the older games, but Sony says a subscription plan is also on the horizon. Maybe that’s why the company vetoed EA Access after all.
Stay tuned for more from Gamescom 2014, including news on Sony’s myriad game announcements today.