Best answer: Share Play for the PlayStation 4 allows you to share a game with your PSN friends, even if they don't own the game themselves. You can let them play as your character or even play co-op games as if you were sitting next to each other.
- Multiplayer necessity: 12 month PlayStation Plus membership ($60 at Amazon)
How does it work?
Share Play is designed to allow you to share your games with your friends even if they don't own the game you're playing. You can only use it with one other person at a time.
For example, you could be playing the new Spider-Man game and want to show your friend from the other side of the country how cool it is. Now you could set up Twitch and stream it, or you can use Share Play to send the gameplay directly to them. What's even better is Share Play is interactive, so if you wanted to you could let the same friend take over your Spider-Man game without ever having to download the game themselves.
If you're old enough to remember the days of sitting on the floor playing console games with your friends in the same room, then you'll enjoy the nostalgia that Share Play invokes. If you have a headset and are chatting with your friend it really feels like you're passing a controller between the two of you in a "levels and lives" tag-team situation.
What about Multiplayer games?
This is where Share Play gets really fun. If you have a game that would normally allow for local multiplayer — think games like FIFA, WWE, or platformers like LittleBigPlanet 3 — you can play that game with your friend as if they were sitting right next to you, and they still don't need to download the game!
This gives you an excellent "Drop-in, Drop-out" dynamic where you can, on a whim, play multiplayer games with a friend who doesn't own the game. You don't have to wait an hour for the game to download or for them to purchase the game themselves.
How does this magic work?
Like any game streaming service, Share Play relies on an excellent internet connection on both ends. Your PlayStation 4 streams its instance of the game to your friends' PS4, then it sends their controller input back to you.
As you can imagine the internet connection will need to be good to make sure that the input from the remote controller doesn't experience any lag.
It's a clever system and one that works fairly well if you're lucky enough to have an internet connection of at least 5MB/s. The fast the better.
Are there any restrictions?
There are a few restrictions on how Share Play can work. It only works with two people and if you want to play a multiplayer game on Share Play, both of you will need a PlayStation Plus membership, even though only the host will need the game. The game will need to be available in both players' countries for you to play as well, and for some reason, players in Germany can only play with other players in Germany.
Games using the PlayStation Camera aren't supported. Parental Control levels are also something to note, since the levels must match and the friend's age must be appropriate for the game's age rating.
Another thing to note: sessions only last 60 minutes, but you have an unlimited amount.
Apart from that, you are pretty much free to Share Play with anyone, anywhere.
Making multiplayer magic
12 month PlayStation Plus membership
You'll need this
PlayStation Plus is the only way for you to play online multiplayer but it does come with some perks. You get two free PlayStation games each month and it allows you to use Share Play with your friends.
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