26 Essential Facts on PS4's 2.0 Update, Masamune

GameSpot offers a breakdown on all the latest additions to the PlayStation 4 operating system.

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On Tuesday, October 28, Sony will implement sweeping changes to the PlayStation 4 operating system. Codenamed "Masamune," the console update adds numerous new features, from Share Play to a music player to YouTube integration.

GameSpot was invited to PlayStation's UK headquarters to watch an hour-long demonstration of the technology, as well as ask questions on each aspect of the new firmware. Here are the key 26 takeaway facts from the event.

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Share Play

1) How it Works

Share Play is an extraordinarily generous feature that allows friends who have PS4s to share their games across the internet. The process is somewhat straightforward though requires robust connection speeds and PlayStation Plus. Here's how it works:

During any game, players can press the Share Button and an additional option, called "Share Play," appears in the menu. Once the option is selected, a Party is automatically created, and players then are asked which one friend they'd like to add to it.

Once a friend is selected, a notification will appear on their PS4. After they accept the request, they are designated as a 'guest' and their system will link to the host's.

By default the guest is just watching a live stream of what the host is playing. However, at any point the host can go to the Party menu and select "Give Controller to Guest". By doing so, the live footage being streamed to the guest can now be controlled too.

2) Share Play Co-Op

This option is selected in the same way as Share Play, only this time the host selects "Play a Game Together" in the sub-menu. By doing this, any co-op game can be played, all from the host's PS4.

3) Share Play Resolution and Frame-Rate

The footage streamed to a guest's PS4 will be significantly downgraded in resolution and frame-rate. There are no fixed numbers, because the visuals are determined by internet speed. As a rule of thumb, 1080p footage renders at a maximum of 720p on a guest's console. 60fps will almost certainly be halved to 30fps.

4) Share Play Recommended Internet Speed

Sony is not disclosing a suggested internet speed for Share Play to work, because a desirable outcome is dependant on numerous factors, such as host and guest bandwidth, as well as distance between systems. Due to these factors, a representative for PlayStation was not keen on offering general internet speed recommendations when asked by GameSpot.

5) 60 Minute Time Limit (and Workaround)

Each Share Play session is limited to sixty minutes, though once that expires, the host and guest can immediately start a new session. There are no restrictions on how many times users can activate Share Play, however, meaning they can theoretically play for as long as they like (though with the hour-interval interruptions).

6) All Games, No Exceptions

Sony representatives claimed that Share Play works across all PS4 games. When asked whether publishers can opt-out, they suggested that there was no existing option to do this. When asked to clarify on the matter further, the representatives offered an unequivocal indication that Share Play will work on all released PS4 games, providing they do not need an additional peripheral. Publishers cannot opt-out of this, GameSpot was told.

7) Alphas and Betas

Publishers have the option to restrict Share Play access to alpha and beta games.

8) PlayStation Plus Requirements

Only the host of a Share Play session requires PlayStation Plus. The guest does not. However, in the case of co-op, both members require PS Plus.

9) Privacy

The guest who watches the host's PS4 will not be able to see anything other than gameplay footage. If the host, for example, opens the system menu, the guest will be presented with a "please wait" placeholder screen.

10) Security

The host can take back control of their game at any point, effectively limiting opportunities for guests to play in an unsportsmanlike manner.

11) Spoilers

Some games can, by default, censor spoilers so that only the host can see them.

12) Upselling

Once a guest finishes a Share Play session, an icon of the game they have just played appears on their PS4 home page. This is essentially a shortcut link to the game's corresponding PS Store page.

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13) Video Uploads

PS4 can now sync with Google accounts, and once done so, users will have the option to share their videos onto YouTube. The system works in exactly the same manner as the existing Facebook sharing process: press the share button, edit a clip, give it a title and description, and uploading will commence.

Custom Themes

14) Colour Changes

The PS4's classic blue system menu can now undergo a makeover, with seven new colours to choose from:

  • Gold
  • Red
  • Dark Blue
  • Green
  • Purple
  • Pink
  • Grey.

15) No Custom Wallpapers

Users cannot upload their own PS4 background wallpapers, but a Sony representative said the team is looking at feedback and will make a decision in the future.

16) Official Themes

Sony, as well as third-party publishers and developers, can offer users their own game-specific themes for PS4.

Social Areas

17) Live From PlayStation

The Live From PlayStation page has been redesigned, now resplendent with a grid showing live streams of PS4 games.

18) Streamer Follow

PS4 Users now have the option to follow broadcasters who appear on their What's New page. This interaction syncs with the broadcaster's Twitch channel.

19) Picture-in-Picture

Users can now display a small windowed live stream whilst looking through the rest of the Live From PlayStation section. A representative for PlayStation appeared keen on the idea of expanding this picture-in-picture mode across the entire dashboard, but for now it only features in Live From PlayStation.

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Content Management

20) Homepage Tweak

The homepage belt of most recently used games has expanded to 15 items.

21) No Folders

Homepage folders will not be included in the 2.0 update.

21) Library Filters

Content stored in the PS4's library can now be arranged and organised by content type, or alphabetically, or by most recently used, or by most recently installed.

Music player

22) USB Uploads

PlayStation 4 users can play music files, uninterrupted, during gameplay and when browsing the system. A mixer, found in the options, allows users to decide on how much music comes from the USB, and how much comes from the in-game audio.

22) Hard-drive Storage

Sony representatives have said the reason why they now only allow music via USB is because they wanted to resolve the lack of music player as quickly as they could. They tell GameSpot that hard-drive storage option is not off the table, nor guaranteed.

Other Additions

23) Enhanced Voice Commands

The PS4 Camera will now respond to a few more demands. The system will not be powered on by voice, however.

24) No video playback via USB or Hard-Drives

Sony has said users will still not be able to play downloaded video or movie files via the PS4.

25) Download Pausing

Users can now pause active downloads and resume at a later date.

26) Twitter video

The PS4 is still unable to allow users to publish video clips to Twitter.

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