PS4 share button pitch proves Sony is listening to developers

PS4 share button feature
Sony shares more about the PS4 share button's origins

The idea behind the PS4's DualShock 4 share button is being credited to a first-party developer, which is further proof that Sony is listening to its game developers this time around.

"I think it was [creative director] Nathan Gary in Santa Monica studios who suggested it," said Sony's President of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida to Edge Magazine.

"How about adding a dedicated button on the controller so that everybody can just press that button to share?" he said of Gary's pitch.

Yoshida mentioned that Gary had been helping out with Sony Santa Monica's independent studios on the development of Journey and Unfinished Swan at the time.

The pitch involved Microsoft, sort of

Gary's idea for the DualShock 4 controller ended up being one of the highlights of the PlayStation Meeting event in New York City.

The irony is that his original pitch for the PS4 controller's unique button was done using Microsoft software, when Sony's console is meant to rival the features of the new Xbox.

"So Nathan put together a Powerpoint and pitched in this Share button idea," said Yoshida.

"And we all went, that's a brilliant idea! So it was a pretty quick decision after he suggested it and I'm sure he's pretty proud of his contribution."

Yoshida said that Sony had been discussing how people should be using the PS4 system, specifically focusing on sharing as one of the central experiences.

Why Knack?

While the PS4 share button idea made sense at the PlayStation Meeting event, the reveal that didn't add up as much for gamers was the first title demoed, Knack.

"It was pretty intentional," said Yoshida about PS4 system architect Mark Cerny's presentation.

"We were like yeah we hate to see all the PS4 games being FPS or action-adventure or very photorealistic, you know big-budget blockbuster games."

So when Cerny approached them about a Crash Bandicoot-like game for PS4, his idea was also rubber-stamped by Sony.

Knack didn't show off the power behind the PlayStation 4 compared to other game demos like Killzone: Shadow Fall, inFamous: Second Son and Drive Club.

However, it's good to see that Sony, often-criticized for making PS3 difficult to develop for, is listening to the development community in the lead up to its next-generation console's launch.

Matt Swider