The letters D.I.Y can represent a number of meanings, but it’s generally used as an abbreviation of do it yourself. What in the blue hell has DIY got to do with gaming? You might be asking, well, for starters it could refer to the modern craze of designing and developing your own video games. With publishing behemoths Sony and Microsoft showing a huge interest in indie titles for their next-gen consoles, it’s no wonder gamers have been downloading programs like GameMaker or UDK and having a go at making their own projects to pitch. But no, although similar in terms of doing it by yourself, what I want to talk about is something completely different.
In recent months, Sony has released a new and ground-breaking application for consoles, known as the SHAREfactory. I’ll give a brief rundown of what exactly this app does; the SHAREfactory is more or less editing software designed exclusively for the PlayStation 4, it gives any user of the console an opportunity to collate, edit and render up to 15 minute long, high-definition videos. These videos could feature any of the footage users have captured since the November launch of the PS4, as pressing the Share Button on the Dualshock 4 captures the last 15 minutes of gameplay. So, any footage saved as a result of the Share Button is eligible to be turned into a self-made, DIY video created by the every-day player.
What does this mean for gamers? Well, it means that instead of faffing about with the last-gen process of video creation, which involved buying a capture card and microphone, wiring them up to your system, recording your content, transferring it to your computer, editing it in a complicated program, then spending hours rendering it. You’re now able to get the same result, just with a much smoother and user-friendly process, which is described in the previous paragraph. For an example of the type of videos creatable using the SHAREfactory application, take a look at the video below, I’ve set up my own channel (TheGamingDiary) on YouTube which utilises the SHAREfactory, featuring an assortment of moments from my playthroughs of various games.
However, with the simplicity of this concept, comes some issues; previously the sharing capabilities of the PS4 had been skewed. This was due to an update which seemed to affect the Share Button, creating a bug which made using the feature a bit hit-and-miss. Sometimes it would save your footage, other times it’d leave you with a sinking feeling in the bottom of your stomach because you just lost the entirety of that last deathmatch, or the awesome trick you just did off that ramp. Gamers have speculated that this bug could’ve surfaced for a few reasons: the game which was being played, location your wi-fi was connecting from, or position of the sun in correlation to the moon at that current point in time. Whatever it was, the fact of the matter still remains, which is that the SHAREfactory is susceptible to bugs, especially this early in its life span. No doubt there will be problems in the future, but there is also no doubt in my mind that Sony will be quick on the trigger when dealing, after all, it is a huge feature of their flagship product.
Now that you’ve been given an overview and an insight to the sharing capabilities of the PS4 and how it can help launch a gamer’s YouTube career, I’ll leave you with something to dwell on. Although a cool feature, is it worthwhile, or is it just a novelty? How is this going to affect websites such as YouTube or Facebook, do the general public really enjoy being hit with dozens of these mediocre montages? Are we likely to experience more technical issues when using this application? And is this whole “share the experience” business even enjoyable, or are we just acting as Sony’s voluntary marketing team? Showing the world exactly what they could be experiencing with the investment of a PlayStation 4.