PS4 Advanced Warfare Blocks Share Play
UPDATE: Sony clarifies that publishers can freely disable Share Play functionality, while Activision offers its own statement.
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[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, an Activision representative provided GameSpot the following statement regarding Share Play functionality for the PS4 version of Advanced Warfare.
"Delivering a great gaming experience for fans is our top priority. We're focused on launching Advanced Warfare and ensuring that people have a great time playing it, which our fans seem to be. Share Play is a new feature that was introduced as part of the recent PS4 firmware 2.00 update. Our engineers didn't have access to it before it launched, so we haven't had a chance to evaluate it to see how it will impact the experience across all modes of play. Of course we wouldn't include a feature in our game without having the chance to test it. Once we've fully analyzed its performance, we'll determine how to support it going forward."
The original story is below.
Internal tests at GameSpot show that Activision has marked all gameplay footage as censored, which does not affect the owner's console, but ensures that gameplay cannot be streamed to another user.
Activision's block on Share Play functionality comes little more than a week after Sony claimed the feature would work on all games. It marks the latest setback for Sony, following weeks of major network and update problems.
Share Play allows two PS4 owners to play the same single copy of a game over the Internet. The owner is designated as the host, and can stream gameplay footage to a guest console. The host can relinquish control of the game to the guest too, effectively giving another user the chance to play without paying.
While Share Play is limited to sixty minutes per session, users can return to the mode immediately after the time ends. There is no cap on Share Play sessions either, meaning that a game can effectively be shared indefinitely.
When the concept was presented during a media briefing in late October, Sony was questioned by GameSpot about whether all third-party publishers were on board with the system.
At the time, Sony representatives told GameSpot that Share Play works across all PS4 games. When asked whether publishers could opt-out, the representatives 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.
However, built into the system is a "censor" option for publishers, which was intended to circumvent spoilers being revealed to a guest console. Though it was thought this censor would be limited to certain scenes only, Activision appears to have extended it across an entire game.
Representatives for Sony and Activision were unable to comment at the time of going to press.
Update: Sony has issued GameSpot a statement clarifying that not all games will work with Share Play.
A representative for the company said: "Share Play is a system level feature enabled by System Software Update 2.0 making it available for all PS4 titles, however the option is available to developers to disable the feature according to what they feel will best benefit the consumer experience." Update ends.
Call of Duty Advanced Warfare shipped worldwide on November 3, and has received a generally favorable response from critics. GameSpot's Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare review said the FPS is "a deluge of action-film bravado."
It is not yet clear if any other publishers have blocked Share Play functionality.
Update: Following publication of this article, a number of gamers have told GameSpot that Share Play does not work on Call of Duty: Ghosts either.