clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Why Facebook isn't creating a dedicated app for PlayStation 4

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

PlayStation 4 owners with a Facebook account will be able to share screenshots and videos to the social networking service, as well as promote livestreaming from Twitch and Ustream, but they won't need to download a dedicated app to do so. Facebook isn't creating an app for PS4, as it did for PS Vita and Xbox 360, for two key reasons.

"One of the things that came out of our experience with the previous generation of consoles is that we found that maintaining the native apps was a relatively high maintenance burden, and didn't really lead to a high fidelity experience," Facebook engineer Colin Creitz told Polygon, explaining that it will rely on built-in web browsers.

"In this generation of consoles, all of them have very capable browsers. The PS4's browser ... it's actually pretty pleasant."

Crietz said that, for launch, the games partnership team at Facebook has been working to tailor the social network experience to browsers. And for the purposes of consoles, testing usage patterns and focusing its efforts on sharing content like videos. That kind of content will populate the PS4's "What's New" section, along with a mix of other content.

Facebook on PS4 will also be an option for players who prefer to show their real identity when on Sony's PlayStation Network.

"One way you can establish your real identity is by using your Facebook login," Crietz said. "It'll bring in your Facebook profile picture and you have the opportunity to manage whether people are looking at your PSN avatar or your Facebook profile picture, [which is displayed] on a per-other user basis."

Crietz said he hopes that they'll be able to use real identity Facebook credentials as a sort of filter.

"One of the things I hope [we add] is that there'll be some ability at the game level to say 'I want to play with people who will reveal their real identity,'" he explained. "They don't have to be my friends yet, but right now I just turn off voice chat in Madden when I play with internet randoms, because I've already had the only conversation you'll ever have with those guys."

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon