We all knew that Sony would be using its recently acquired cloud-service Gaikai in the PlayStation 4 – but our expectations were somewhat pedestrian; we thought we’d just be able to stream games, and perhaps game demos off the cloud. The reality of it far more interesting, and Gaikai brings a host of unique features and services that will be difficult for the competition to replicate.
Speaking on stage at Sony’s PlayStation 4 reveal event, Gaikai founder David Perry demonstrated that the sexy new DualShock 4′s share button will allow players to instantly beam clips of their gameplay –in real time – to their PS4 friends.
Not only will spectators be able to watch and comment on your gameplay – but if you’re stuck on a particularly difficult or frustrating section of a game, you can invite a friend to take over your console remotely to help, before relinquishing control back to you.
In addition to that, there’ll be a ‘Multi-casting’ feature, that will allow you to broadcast your game live to multiple spectators at once – which makes the PlayStation 4 an excellent option for tournaments and eSports in general.
Also, as we speculated, you’ll be able to instantly play any PS4 game streamed via the cloud without having to download the entire demo first – and should you purchase a full digital game blind, you can play it while the download happens in the background.
Perry said that users should be allowed to "instantly experience anything that you want", and "try for free, and pay only for games you fall in love with".
"What we’re creating is the fastest, most powerful gaming network in the world."
While the PlayStation 4 likely won’t launch backwards compatibility, it is something that Sony is exploring with the aim of making PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS Mobile games available to many future Sony products, including the PlayStation 4.