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Transforming PlayStation 4’s Twitch Streaming From Good To Great

by Mike Futter on Nov 18, 2013 at 02:50 AM

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Anyone who purchased a PlayStation 4 this weekend now has the tools to stream games with the push of a button. Most of the Game Informer staff dabbled in this a bit, and the results were generally good. As a starting point, the integration of Twitch with the PlayStation 4 user experience is function over form. There’s room for improvement, and we have a few ideas.

Give us more chat room
When streaming from your PlayStation 4 to Twitch, gameplay is framed by a border that shows the feed from your PlayStation camera, the number of viewers and number of comments so far, and the two most recent chat messages. There’s a lot of dead space right now in that border, and it can be put to better use.

Currently the chat messages appear the bottom. In a crowded channel, you’re going to miss a lot. It would be better to move chat to the right side of the screen (as it appears when watching on the Twitch website). The bottom can still be used for most recent messages, but having a navigable archive on the right would be useful.

Give us the ban hammer
Integrating chat into the television display is brilliant, but it does remove some of the functionality of moderating a chat on a PC. We can’t ban people, nor can we easily see a list of who is in the chat. 

People tend to get rowdy, and if you want to maintain a civil environment, giving us the banhammer (perhaps putting mod controls on a second screen device via the PlayStation App) would go a long way.

Give us camera control
Simple digital zoom and pan features would make it easier to manage the picture-in-picture display. We can currently turn the camera on and off through the options menu, but something a bit more robust would go a long way to improving the content quality.

Give us basic production capabilities
I’d love to be able to insert a splash screen or pre-roll before my videos. This would be very handy for those watching archived footage.

This would most likely have to be handled through a PC interface, but custom lead-ins would elevate avid streamers above the enormous crowd. There’s a lot smart Twitch users could do with very basic upload tools.

Give us control over our default alert messages
Right now, you can push a notification to Twitter and Facebook when you start streaming. There is no way to customize the default message, though. Giving us a way to insert a game name if the Share button is pressed while inside a title or make the default language more tailored to individual preferences will keep Twitter and Facebook feeds from becoming jammed with identical status updates.

Give us the ability to display PSN IDs instead of Twitch usernames
For those that have different Twitch usernames from their PSN IDs, it would be great to be able to choose which is displayed in Twitch chat. That way, it’s easier to identify and add people mid-game.

An icon might be useful to identify which username is being displayed. This is a simple convenience item that would help galvanize the PlayStation 4 streaming community.

Give us the ability to add related channels to our streams
I’ve been playing a lot of Warframe, and I would love to be able to add my fellow space ninjas’ channels as links on my own stream. Part of the fun of watching multiplayer gaming is jumping points of view. Allowing us to input the PSN IDs or channel names of other players will give viewers a more complete experience.