When The Playroom launched alongside the PS4 last year, it was dismissed as a mere toy to show off some of the technical gimmicks of the system. Using the PlayStation camera, players could wave their arms and play with on-screen robots. But that's not the functionality that ended up making The Playroom the most-streamed game on the system.
Unlike all of the other launch games on PS4, The Playroom allowed players to broadcast a full-frame shot of themselves out into the world using Twitch streaming. The pure-of-heart used this unanticipated functionality to host shows talking about games and other interests. Another group used it to broadcast porn on Twitch. Whoops!
After a handful of banned accounts and updates to the end-user agreement, The Playroom was eventually cleaned of most of the nefariousness, leaving the Twitch world with just wholesome, non-porn content. It's that sort of content that will be enhanced with a free update coming later this summer.
Called "Set Maker," the update adds a bunch of functionality to aid in the production of hosted shows. Using a tablet as a production suite, players will be able to add all sorts of effects and virtual objects to their sets. Where previously there was just a couch and some hand-made banners, players will be able to create digital banners with both text and images. They can also drop in things like spotlights or make their PS4 controllers spew laser lights.
The idea is to make hosted shows more high-touch, requiring less of players to get up and running. After the porn debacle, many companies may have closed up shop, blocking all streaming functionality from something like The Playroom. Sony's going the other way, leaning into the functionality and, with added content monitoring, hoping to create a prettier home for streamers worldwide.