It's the sort of forward-thinking feature that the new generation of games consoles always promised to bring, but the PlayStation 4's Share Play feature hasn't won over every third party publisher. In a blow for the console's gamers, Activision has decided to actively disable Share Play for its new Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare title.
Share Play allows PlayStation 4 owners to remotely access another player's console -- effectively "passing the controller" from one gamer to another over the internet, letting them share screens, play co-operatively or help each other through difficult portions of a title even if only one player has a copy of a game. It's restricted by default to hour-long sessions, and gamers must have a PS Plus subscription to get the most out of it. However, Activision has marked all content in Advanced Warfare as censored (meant to be used sparingly to avoid spoilers being shared to an unwitting guest player), meaning that when PS4 owners attempt to activate Share Play, they're met instead with a screen displaying a "censored" message.
In addition to the brand new title, Activision also seems to have chosen to disable Share Play functionality in last year's Call of Duty: Ghosts, too. Could it be that Activision fears gamers will play through the majority of the game using Share Play, cutting potential sales?
"Delivering a great gaming experience for fans is our top priority," reads Activision's statement on the matter.
"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 analysed its performance, we'll determine how to support it going forward."
A representative from Sony offered the following comment: "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."
Blocking the entire game is hardly going to "best benefit the consumer experience". Sony seems to have put ample restrictions in place to prevent the system being exploited by cheapskate gamers. Here's hoping that Activision reneges on its decision -- before it appears like a viable option to all other third-party developers and publishers, too.