The lights are on
This morning brought news that Microsoft and Twitch are going to be rolling out streaming support for Xbox One in two weeks. The update to the Twitch app will be coming on March 11, alongside Titanfall.
We spoke with Chad Gibson on the Xbox Live team about how Twitch will work on the platform. One of our concerns when the news broke was about viewers being able to join parties. Gibson assured us that privacy features that exist in the social settings right now will help ensure that broadcasters are able to maintain desired separation. This won’t adversely impact discoverability, though.
“The thing that we’re really proud of with the Twitch integration is that we integrated it with the Xbox identity system and did a bunch of single sign-on work with them,” Gibson says. “That’s what enables the party scenario. Tying in the Twitch account and providing single sign-on with Xbox Live allows us to tie these things together.” As long as broadcaster parties aren’t private, it will be easy to drop in and queue up.
Speaking of parties, while Microsoft won’t support broadcasting party chat at launch, it’s something we could see in the future. “We’re very eager to see if that’s what users want,” Gibson says. “We can certainly do that.”
We asked about how the system will handle broadcasters trying to troll viewers with Kinect voice commands. “We’re working on echo-cancellation and use the mic array to focus voice commands on the user in front of the console versus from the speakers,” Gibson explained. “Our system should absolutely filter that stuff out. Is it theoretically possible to do? We’re working hard to make it so it’s not. That’s one of the things we’re eager to during final tweaking during the beta starting this week.”
When the updated Twitch app rolls out on March 11, users will be able to interact with chat via controller-based virtual keyboard and USB keyboard functionality that was introduced in the February update. Gibson also spoke about other ways to use chat. “We’re also working on enabling chat in the SmartGlass experience,” Gibson says.
We also spoke about channel aesthetic customization. In the future, users will be able to take profile pictures with the Kinect for use on their Twitch profiles. “We want to enable users to use the Kinect camera not just to broadcast, but to customize that stuff as well,” Gibson says. “For most of the profile customization, users are going to want to go to the Twitch website.”