The PlayStation 4 will soon allow users to share games with their friends, without having to pass around any sort of disc. Friends will simply be able to turn on their PS4, and then request your permission to play something from your library. After that, they will stream the game from your house to theirs. That being said, there are a couple of catches to the whole thing.
Sony’s head of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida explained how the system works in an interview with Famitsu Weekly. Users will not have to do anything to enable the feature, which will be rolling out with the firmware 2.0 update due soon. Effectively, Sony is turning your PS4 into a miniature version of PlayStation Now.
The downside to all this is that your friends who borrow the game will not be able to save their progress to their own account. Instead, it is saved to the account of the game owner. There is no indication if this will rewrite game progress, as it appears that you are lending out your entire account for your friends to use. Whether users will be able to continue to play games during this time is also unknown.
It appears that Sony is taking a leaf out of Steam’s playbook, allowing people to borrow games but with the massive requirement that the owner of the game is not interested in using his console for a while.
Which isn’t a bad thing if someone has a friend who is going out of town for a few days and is alright with leaving his PS4 running to stream games for other people. Although it still might be easier to drive over and borrow the disc.
Edit: PlayStation has clarified that the Share Play function will only be limited to 60-minute sessions. Which means that borrowers will have to keep asking for permission to play the game; and will be unable to do so if the owner is away from his console.