Most of what I have heard and experienced surrounding Tony's Hawk Pro Skater 5 has not bee good. Granted, all that really matters is the mechanics in such a gameplay heavy game, so I am willing for my impressions to be turned around the second I play it.
This idea for online play is pretty neat though! In a PlayStation Blog post, it was revealed that online will hold up to 20 people in an online Freeskate lobby. From there, players will be able to choose new activites to do together.
Connecting with other players is totally different than previous THPS games, and it's unique compared to the current crop of skating titles. The Freeskate levels serve as lobbies for up to 20 players. They act as hubs where players can hang out and skate between different missions and online matches.
The sessions themselves are hosted by dedicated servers, so you can drop in and out of populated Freeskate sessions at any time. When you are ready, you can jump into a mission with your party or challenge the entire park in one of the competitive multiplayer modes. This is done from the Sessions menu, a multipurpose tool for queuing up missions or modes, managing your party, and checking to see who's in the park.
That is a pretty smart way of lining up activities while everyone continues to have a good time.
There is caveat though. As the post reminds us, if you are playing on older generation consoles, those versions of the game won't support online at all. Bear that in mind those of you who haven't updated yet.