Gamers rejoice – the PS4 has been unveiled! While Sony shared plenty of specifics about the next-gen device at the official two-hour press event, there was one feature that was of particular interest to us here at MRY – the “Share” button located directly on the remote control, enabling gamers to capture and share their gameplay live via their social networks with the just click of a button. Will Sony’s focus on the intersection of social and gaming help the PS4 claim the top spot amongst gaming consoles? Search expert Michael Thomson gives his POV below.
PS4 Set to Integrate Shared Media
Sony has announced that the fourth version of its popular PlayStation console - the PS4 - will incorporate shared media at the heart of the gaming experience.
The company stated users will be able to record game-play and, with the touch of one button, upload and share their recorded gaming sequences directly to YouTube and other social networks.
Aside from directly video-related platforms, the PS4 share button will be integrated to industry-leading social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, meaning users will be able to reach scores of followers and friends with a simple button-tap.
While Sony’s move to include social sharing on its product will doubtlessly improve user satisfaction for thousands of gamers seeking to share their digital exploits socially, it will also leverage the ‘power of the people’ to sell and engage users with the console and suppliers’ games.
Social networks and sharing are widely adopted, so it’s natural for gamers to want to share their successes with other likeminded people and communities, a trend that has been gaining steam for a number of years.
Current statistics of gamers sharing video clips:
Mining YouTube, I can roughly suggest there are:
-9.6 million Call of Duty videos.
-1.7 million Far Cry videos.
-1.1 million Assassin’s Creed videos.
-300k FiFa 2013 videos.
-12.8 million videos tagged as ‘gameplay’.
-103k videos tagged as ‘gameplay’ already in 2013. (Jan to Feb)
Given these statistics, it’s safe to assume Sony has facilitated integrated sharing in order to capitalize upon it.
Will the television be the sharing device?
I’m not confident it will, as the PS4 will also lean on the ‘connected screen’ experience, enabling third-party devices via the PS4 app to act as second screens. Here, a smartphone could be used as a map to navigate Call of Duty or watch friends’ gameplay over Wi-Fi while sitting in Starbucks. In short, the television will be the consumption medium, while the second device will facilitate communication.
For example, a gamer plays, records David Beckham netting a goal in FIFA 2013 for PS, shares it to YouTube and automatically posts it to Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter, but via his second screen. If someone then comments or engages with his shared content, the gamer doesn’t want to stop game-play, he uses his ‘natural’ communication device (smartphone, tablet) to engage back.
Mobile has a lot more to grow, especially in the communications and engagement aspect of shared media.
The Living Room Shared-Media Experience
According to Neilson, 65% of consoles are located in the living room, which means shared media will start to flow from your desktop, tablet and mobile to your living room television.
With 33% of Wii usage to stream video, it really proves that games consoles have a big influence in digital and shared media. PS4’s further integration with shared media will stimulate that.
Gamer profiles do not reflect common stereotypes - the primary being that only young males participate. According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA):
-The average gamer’s age is 30.
-68% are over 18.
-47% are female.
-More adult women play than boys under 17.
-33% play social games.
-One-quarter of gamers play on handheld devices while 33% play on smartphones
Adults - over 200 million of them in the U.S. - of both genders and primarily among “Generation Y” use second screens: the core target audience of nearly all advertisers in shared media.
Gaming and the PS4 present a broad opportunity to target audiences via paid and shared media, with advertisers sure to find appropriate niches within the gaming community. This share button will drive users to social media and, dependent on the content they produce or consume, specific advertisements can be generated.
YouTube’s TrueView or Content Network ads cover the video element, Facebook Ads and Sponsored Posts, Twitter’s Promoted Tweets and Trending Ads. Budgets and efforts should be concentrated on mobile rather than desktop, as the former will more likely function as the ‘second screen’.
A new social game…
In my opinion, Sony has taken the lead in combining shared media and gaming with the PS4 share button. Clearly the company sees the value in leveraging social networking and word of mouth to engage users beyond the traditional standard.
The demographics of gamers present an excellent opportunity to earn reach and impressions among targeted audiences; what will be interesting is how everyone goes about just that – leveraging shared media to convert for their set goals.
-Michael Thomson, Media Supervisor, Search