Last year Microsoft and Sony were both shouting loudly about the Next Gen features of the new shiny consoles. Power of the cloud, built in video capture, Instant game resume (still waiting Sony) and many more were all given as reasons to jump aboard the next gen train.
Now almost a year later, I have found the true Next Gen feature that should be included in more titles rolling out to the new generation of home consoles. This feature is the simple Photo Mode. For years now I have looked at sites like Dead End Thrills and marveled at the creativity of the screenshots if you knew how to manipulate the game engine to your whim. I have always wanted to be able to do this simply within my little console based world. Now I can and the results are incredible.
Now the PS4 allows you to take a screenshots using the same button at almost every part of the PS4 experience. He problem is it is just that screenshot, complete with whatever was on screen at that time. What a well implemented Photo Mode does is allow the player to pause the game in motion, then allows them to manipulate the camera positon, focus, colouring and strip away the games hud. Then still using the PS4's Share button, save the photo and share with the world.
The first PS4 game to support this was Infamous: Second Son and the response the community gave it was incredible. Some of the entries in the first photo competition were incredible. I had already been through the main game, but the photo Mode update brought me back to that world and spend a huge amount of time just taking shot after shot. Take a look a some of my shots:
Seeing how successful the addition of the Photo Mode was for Infamous, developer Naughty Dog managed to get a Photo Mode in the their gaming masterpiece, The Last of Us Remastered. With a few additional tools added to allow for framing and better camera control. The results are breathtaking. Take a look at some of my better shots.
Finally, the SHAREfactory app on the PS4 was updated to allow you to add screenshots into your videos, which allows users to create their own video sideshows.
Infamous First Light, the standalone expansion of Second Son, saw SuckerPunch add more tools and filters to help creators get the most out of the Fetch's world
DriveClub will be the next big title to feature a Photo Mode and I can imagine that the images people capture will be gorgeous. I would love to see this kind of feature added to many more games. The obvious one at the moment is Destiny. Bungie's beautiful created world's are a screenshotter's dream and it seems a crime to have to rely on grabs filled with mission text and weapons to view that beauty.