How PS4 developers can interact with their players

How PS4 developers can interact with their players
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

February 26th 2014 at 3:40PM

SCEE's Agostino Simonetta discusses the console's networking and sharing capabilities

During the PlayStation Open Day Sony discussed some interesting PS4 features developers can take advantage of when it comes to the hardware's networking and streaming capabilities.

SCEE's Agostino Simonetta said developers are able to customise their games' Live Areas, the dedicated game pages on the PS4 interface. Tiles on these Live Areas are HTML5 and JavaScript-based, meaning developers can quickly and easily change what each one displays, whether it's a video or a link to the store.

Developers can also use these to advertise new DLC, cross-promote other titles they have released and also post the latest news from their website or blog, and link back to the browser.

Simonetta also explained that developers are able to write their own mini apps in JavaScript or HTML5 and enter them into a tile, as well as display stats from the game such as the number headshots or the amount of times a specific fighting move has been used.

"Maybe your game has new DLC, or maybe you want to post the latest news from the community website or blog. Or maybe you run a server and run challenges and you want to surface those, or maybe it's a video. You can change those on a daily basis [without consulting Sony]," he said.

"If you have your own servers, you can have those talk to the PlayStation server. If you're tracking data, you can surface those stats on the boxes."

Streaming content

With game broadcasting becoming increasingly popular thanks to platforms like Twitch, Sony has integrated streaming into the Ps4, and to great success.

As has previously been announced, Simonetta said developers can use streaming to allow spectators to interact with the game being broadcast. He offered examples such as giving the player ammunition or a health pack during gameplay.

Developers can also take advantage of streaming in other ways, and can stream a title straight from their dev kit. Simonetta said this could be an interesting way to gain publicity for a new title while it's still in development.

Simonetta also explained that developers can encourage users to share videos and images when not streaming by sending a message if they break a record in the game, such as the fastest laptime in the world on a racing title.

"This is another way to help you get your title discovered without having to invest anything," said Simonetta.