The previous generation of video-game consoles, which included the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, focused on playing online. The emerging theme of the new console generation is pushing toward creating and sharing content online. One of the most attractive features of the PlayStation 4 console is its ability to stream live gameplay using the Twitch TV service. This feature allows users to instantly record and stream gameplay content to followers who watch a user’s channel on the Twitch TV website or through the Twitch TV app on game consoles. Content is broadcast live with Twitch streaming and can be replayed by users later.
IGN reports that nearly 10 percent of all Twitch streaming now comes from the PlayStation 4, and in the first month that the console was available, users streamed over 20 million minutes of footage on Twitch TV and secondary streaming service UStream. To put that into perspective, users have created and streamed 38 years’ worth of content in a single month.
Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios head Shuhei Yoshida recently said these metrics were surprising, commenting that “interest in streaming live gameplay [via the PlayStation 4] has surpassed our wildest expectations.”
Clearly, streaming gameplay video is an important feature to gamers that is poised for growth. Microsoft announced that streaming integration is coming to its Xbox One console later this year, and Microsoft has confirmed that Twitch streaming will be included as an option for those who subscribe to its paid Xbox Live service. Currently, the official Twitch TV app on the Xbox One only supports content viewing, but the app is expected to recieve an update in the coming months to support creation.
Though gameplay video sharing is not a recent phenomenon, the ability to stream live video instantly and reliably, without latency, has allowed game consoles to become content creation and consumption devices. Although Nintendo hasn’t announced any plans to bring streaming to its Wii U console, the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 are paving the way for the next generation of connected gamers to share their experiences with others around the world.
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