New Sony Firmware Update May Mean Big Things

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Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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New Sony Firmware Update May Mean Big Things

The ongoing battle for console supremacy likely won't stop any time soon, but a new report suggests that Sony may have a trick up its sleeve that's likely to secure Sony's win in this go-round of the great console wars. It's not a new peripheral, it's not a new game. It's a piece of the firmware that could shake up multiplayer gaming as it's commonly known.

The firmware update in question seems to be related to Share Play, a gaming system that was promised back at the original PS4 introduction at E3. With Share Play, users get the opportunity to play games over PlayStation Network with friends, but without the need to actually own the game in question first. One of the friends in question will need to own it, of course, but when one does, there's the possibility to let others in on the action. Better yet, for those who have found that one sticky part of a game that can't readily be beaten, gamers can allow a substitute player, letting someone else take the helm as long as needed to get past the part in question.

While it may not exactly work out this way when it finally shows up, if it goes anywhere near that way, it might well be just the thing that fires up the PlayStation beyond anything that's been expected. There's already a major install base out there, so more gamers will be able to pass around more games. It's like having access to a video store's rental library all day, any day, for something as simple as a few connections. Sony gets to expose gamers to a huge quantity of experiences and transfer at least some of these exposures into purchases, a move that should help drive sales in a platform that's already out in front.

What's more, Sony isn't stopping at Share Play; reports suggest that the next firmware update will come with YouTube support right off the bat, a development that will be welcome to all those who want to make their own Let's Play videos or similar matters, but plan to eschew the computer gaming market for the console instead.

Indeed, something like this may push still more fence-sitters into the Sony camp for this generation. Microsoft had better be taking serious notes if it expects to survive in this particular field too much longer, because considering how far ahead Sony is right now, it may well put Microsoft a bit too far behind for an easy recovery. It will be particularly interesting to see how Microsoft keeps up with this new development, and what it has in mind to take back some of the market ground it's losing.