Sony PlayLink explained: More social gaming exclusively on PS4

Sony PlayLink explained: More social gaming exclusively on PS4
Sean Cleaver

By Sean Cleaver

June 14th 2017 at 2:01PM

Brighton-based Wish Studios will be making two games utilising the technology

Sony annouced two new games during its E3 showcase that used its new social gaming technology - PlayLink.

The idea is that people playing the games will be able to use their mobile device (iOS and Android based) to play them, allowing functions like voting, drawing images and even taking pictures to use within the games.

If all this sounds familiar, that's because it is. Developer Jackbox has released several social gaming compliations over the last few years across PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The Party Pack releases are also due to come to Nintendo Switch.

There are differences though. Jackbox games create a web portal, accessible by a passcode displayed on the screen, to allow gamers to play. It is not reliant on being connected to the console, as you can play if you are not connceted to a local network. This allows for people to play or vote on streamed games.

PlayLink is usable via a free app which you can download to your smartphone or tablet. This then allows the phone to connect to the PS4 as a controller, allowing for drawing, photography and any other control methods needed by the game being played. The PlayStation Blog does have more details but has not specified how the phones connect to the PS4, like whether it is via a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection

Demonstrated during the show was the Supermassive Games developed Hidden Agenda and the Wish Studios develped That's You!. Hidden Agenda is inspired by the feedback generated by Until Dawn, which showed that the single player experience was often played in groups. People were playing the game together and making decisions together, according to game director Will Doyle. So this game has been developed to enable that kind of gameplay experience for players, voting on what a character should do next.

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That's You! is the first release that uses PlayLink and is developed by Brighton-based Wish Studios. The party game, demonstrated by Sony Wordwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida and others in a video, allows the user to take pictures doodle them and more. 

Wish Studios has a deal with Sony Interactive Entertainment to produce two games for the technology and trivia game Knowledge is Power will be released later in 2017. A SingStar title will also be released that will turn your phone in to a microphone. There are no dates yet for the games or the app, but the Hidden Agenda video did end quoting a 2017 release so they will be coming soon.