February 26, 2014, 6:00 AM —
I've said a couple of times now that maybe Microsoft should've waited to launch the Xbox One on March 11th. It seems to be shaping up to be a huge day for the system.
Of course it's the day that TitanFall ships; Microsoft has said this is "expected to be the biggest game launch of the year." Between now and March 11th we will probably see the headset adapter and the media remote coming from Microsoft, plus we'll definitely see new headsets from Turtle Beach and Polk Audio. We'll see the second patch for the Xbox One firmware by the 11th; this is the one that's suppose to improve the party system and multiplayer in general. And of course there's the UK price drop and the bundled copy of TitanFall that we talked about yesterday.
Speaking of that March patch, Xbox released a preview video yesterday:
As if that all isn't enough, now we've learned that Twitch streaming is hitting the Xbox One on March 11th. This is a feature that the Sony Playstation 4 has had since launch, but it sounds like Microsoft is bringing a somewhat more full-featured Twitch experience to their console.
Here's the teaser trailer:
Microsoft is really pushing the voice command; that feels a little desperate to me. If you don't want to use voice you have to go to the home screen and snap the Twitch app, start the broadcast and then go back into the game. On the PS4 it's a matter of hitting the Share button on the controller and choosing broadcast.
Of more interest is the fact that Microsoft's Twitch app will let you watch any Twitch content. The PS4 doesn't have a dedicated Twitch app and you can only watch other PS4 content via the "Live from Playstation" screen. This isn't a new feature — it's been the case since launch — but with Twitch broadcasting in the news it's getting fresh exposure.
If you're watching a broadcast, you can send a party request to the broadcaster and join him in-game. That seems most likely to happen when the broadcaster is a friend of yours, but who knows?
Lastly, you can archive your broadcast on Twitch, which isn't yet possible on the PS4.
You can read more about Twitch Broadcasting at Xbox Wire.
We've been hearing a lot out of the Microsoft camp lately while Sony has been relatively quiet, probably focusing on the Japanese launch last weekend (word is they moved 320,000+ PS4s in Japan over the launch weekend). I think Sony is in danger of losing their momentum if they don't start rolling out updates and fixes pretty soon. In particular they need to expand the ways you can share content. Currently you can only share video to Facebook, and images to Facebook or Twitter. The Xbox One lets you save your captured video to OneDrive and from there you can do anything with it.
It'd be nice to see the PS4 get a proper Twitch app as well, but it sounds like Twitch prefers the company of Microsoft (Twitch built the app for the Xbox One but Sony built Twitch streaming for the PS4) so that may not be coming any time soon.
Anyway, I won't be getting TitanFall for myself, but I'm glad I'll be able to watch experts play on Twitch!
Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.