Finding people to roll with in online multiplayer games can be incredibly frustrating, but Sony's got a new way to help with that. PlayStation Communities, a new iOS and Android app, creates small social networks (called Communities) where you can find and talk with other gamers and forge the partnerships needed to chalk up the wins.
Using PlayStation Communities is simple. There's a Discover tab that pulls up the most recent games you've played and lets you browse the most popular communities for those titles.
For example, under No Man's Sky, I see 934 members currently populating the "No Mans Sky Guild," 462 members using the Spanish language community "No Man's Sky España" and 59 users in the game's "Lousy at Gaming" community.
Jumping into one of these communities, you can join and view discussion threads and send messages to members to get to know them. Once you've decided you'd like to game with another user, you can add them as a friend and roll with them in the game of your choice.
Communities aren't based only around titles, as "Women of PSN" and "Feminist War Cult" offer a safe haven for specific groups of gamers, while Hip-Hop Nation sets up like-minded rap aficionados. Some of these groups are private, though, requiring users to send a message first to see if they can be accepted for membership.
As a PS4 user myself, I'm happy to see this app launch, because finding friends through the console's existing interface isn't great right now. The existing flaws aren't even the fault of the platform itself, but more a matter of the television set and game controller still not being an ideal method for writing notes and navigating networks.
On the other hand, as much as I appreciate this functionality, this feature would likely help more gamers if Sony just injected it as a new feature into its existing PlayStation app. Sony now has a total of three PlayStation-related apps: Communities, the self-explanatory PlayStation Messages app, and the core PlayStation app that lets you shop for games and see who's online. Having all of these tools in a single hub would go a long way towards keeping PlayStation fans connected on the go.