At their E3 2014 media briefing, Sony discussed the PlayStation Network, celebrating some impressive statistics about its current state as well as laying out plans for the future of the network.
Sony Computer Entertainment America’s president and CEO, Shawn Layden, first touted PSN’s high user rate; nearly 95% of all PS4 owners are on the PlayStation Network, and gamers have played online for over 1.25 billion hours.
The focus of the presentation was on connectivity and sharing, with Layden announcing that PSN’s 220 million game shares would only be increased by the addition of YouTube to the PS4. Players will now be able to upload game footage to their YouTube channel at the press of a button and see their friends’ videos automatically appear in their What’s New activity feed.
With over 150 million spectate sessions already counted, the PS4’s interaction with Twitch and Ustream has been a success, and Layden promised even more interactivity while watching other gamers’ sessions. He cited that this feature allowed spectators to interact with live players’ game experience while they’re playing, with Layden stating, “You can help them, you can harm them; it’s up to you, but you’re right there with them."
The Playroom will receive new free DLC that allows players to create custom broadcasting sets, adding a slew of new options for the virtual reality game.
Finally, Sony switched focus to Free-to-Play games, announcing that more than 25 new games would be playable on PS4 for no charge, including Kingdom Under Fire 2, PlanetSide 2 and Gunza. This was followed by a trailer featuring a wide variety of upcoming F2P games, like Loadout!, War Thunder, Pain! and Fat Princess.