PS4 gets back into Party Games with PlayLink

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Sony was a little light on hardware and feature announcements at E3 last week being more gaming focused, but that doesn’t mean nothing new appeared.

One feature that we saw last week and have been itching to find out a little more about was the new PlayLink functionality for PS4. The short version is PlayLink lets you and a group of friends play PlayLink titles not using controllers but your phones. Opening up gaming for larger groups without the need for multiple controllers.

The concept of party games is not new to PlayStation with previous titles like Buzz or SingStar coming to mind. And while Nintendo is pretty much synonymous with party games PlayStation are clearly looking to grab back a little bit of that market.

PlayLink looks to build on what we saw with the SingStar integration (where you could use your phone in lieu of a SingStar microphone) or second screen gaming such as the rear vision mirror in previous Gran Turismo titles. The big difference really is the approach to launching centred around games instead of announcing and waiting for developers to beat a path.

Initial titles we will see using PlayLink include:

Hidden Agenda – a decision/consequence driven thriller by Supermassive (makers of Until Dawn) where you and a group of friends will vote for on screen decisions that drive the story forward.

Knowledge is Power – a quiz game (of course).

Frantics – a more arcade/mini game collection for multiple players to work together or against each other.

SingStar Celebration – the newest title in the karaoke franchise that really doesn’t need that much explanation.

Also an additional title, That’s you, will be available for free to PS+ Subscribers on the 5th of July, meaning that if you have been keeping up with your updates your PS4 is probably already capable of doing everything needed to make PlayLink games work.

How many more titles we will see in the future is probably dependent on the success of these initial launch titles and the ability to bring back ‘games night’. With the Nintendo Switch going gangbusters it will be interesting if players can be coaxed back to a social living room based experience, especially considering the ‘For the Players’ approach that Playstation has been taking for the PS4.