E3 2017: Sony announces ‘PlayLink’ local multiplayer titles with PS4-to-iOS cross-platform support

Sony this week unveiled a new series of games branded “PlayLink,” focusing on in-person multiplayer experiences for its PlayStation 4 console that will allow new players to get in the game with their iPhone. One announced PlayLink title, “Hidden Agenda,” lets participants collaborate to stop a serial killer.

Sony’s new lineup of PlayLink titles aims to make it easier for casual game players to join in on console titles —a market that typically caters to a more devoted crowd. By bringing smartphones like Apple’s iPhone into the mix, Sony hopes to bring more players into the fold with new and simpler input methods, without requiring costly and complex spare PS4 controllers.

Perhaps the most interesting title unveiled as part of PlayLink is “Hidden Agenda,” which sees players working together to control characters in an effort to catch a serial killer known as the “Trapper.” Using their iPhones and Android devices as a “second screen,” participants will be able to vote on various input options.

In a unique twist, each player may also be presented with private information that is not provided to others in the party, forcing cooperation in order to solve the case. Players will also be given “hidden agendas” —secret objectives that they seek to complete without telling any of the other players in the room.

Another PlayLink announced at this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo is “That’s You!,” a comedy quiz that supports up to six people and over 1,000 varied questions. To celebrate the launch of PlayLink, “That’s You!” will be free to download when it launches July 4.

The remaining PlayLink titles unveiled at E3 are

  • “Knowledge is Power:” A trivia game with support for up to six players, focused on speed and accuracy as players are distracted.
  • “Frantics:” A mini-game collection where players must “bluff, battle, negotiate and cooperate,” but also contend with a “mischievous” host named The Fox.
  • “SingStar Celebration:” Players can use their smartphone or a SingStar mic to sing with up to 8 players.

Sony has promised that both its own in-house studios and the global development community are cooking up more PlayLink titles coming to the PlayStation 4 in the future.