Last week during a press conference in New York, Sony unveiled several features that would come preloaded with the Playstation 4. Among them, as the acquisition of cloud-based gaming service Gaikai alluded to, was a feature that allowed users to instantaneously share game footage by simply tapping the controller’s “Share” button.
It may seem like a small addition among the console’s other more glamorous functions and beastly tech specs, but that “Share” button could very well change the face of modern YouTube game commentary.
Currently, the setup to record high-definition gameplay footage from your PS3 or Xbox 360 will run you around $150 or more. In addition, both the PS3 and Xbox 360 have High Definition Copy Protection on their HDMI signals that stops HD content from recording. Circumnavigating the HDCP means either low quality footage or pricey gameplay capture equipment.
These factors aren’t huge hurdles to overcome, but they are reason enough for many aspiring console game commentators to call it quits or switch to PC gaming.
With the new built-in gameplay capture functionality, the Playstation 4, as hardware lead Mark Cerny explained during the New York conference, “enables seamless uploads of recorded gameplay.”
That means no more pricey hardware, no more complicated setups, and most importantly, high-quality gameplay footage uploaded at the press of a button.
Although copyright or legal stipulations of uploading PS4 content is yet to be known, the introduction of this new technology could potentially oversaturate the game commentary market if gameplay footage is allowed to be uploaded on YouTube.
YouTube has already experienced a flood in gameplay footage as Activision introduced recording and YouTube uploading options with the release of “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.”
“COD: Black Ops 2” is currently one of the most represented games among YouTube’s game commentary market, and that is just one game that enabled straight to YouTube uploading. What will happen when every game released on the Playstation 4 has the same ability?
Make no mistake, gameplay and commentary is already a vastly oversaturated area of YouTube. The ability to record easily on PCs and low-end console recording equipment have seen to that. However, once the PS4 is launched, gamers on YouTube may have to find a new way to stand out among the astronomical amount of gameplay footage being uploaded.