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[Update] Xbox One Allows Picture-In-Picture Commentary, No Extended Recordings

by Mike Futter on Sep 26, 2013 at 01:52 PM

Update: Microsoft has responded to us stating that executive vice president Phil Harrison's comments were taken out of context. "We are committed to giving gamers the ability to produce high quality videos easily and quickly," a Microsoft representative told Game Informer. "We can confirm the recording buffer in Game DVR is 5 minutes, which we feel is optimized to take advantage of high-quality production features and advanced social mechanics in Xbox One."

To be absolutely clear, regardless of whether you are capturing something from the buffer or pressing the record button and capturing gameplay from that point forward, clips will be capped at five minutes. We're unclear where the disconnect was, but apparently this means that "as much or as little as they want" doesn't refer to recording time. We've asked for clarification on what Harrison was referring to.


Original Story:

The feature race between PlayStation 4 and Xbox One continues to heat up on the road to November. One aspect that we thought had been put to bed, the set length of gameplay recordings, is being revisited after comments made by Microsoft executive vice president Phil Harrison at Eurogamer Expo.

We previously understood that the Xbox One would buffer five minutes of recording and that would be the maximum length of a shared clip. Sony fired back with a 15-minute buffer (but no specificity about a cap on clip length). Today we have new information about Microsoft's plans for the Xbox One gameplay sharing.

According to VG 24/7, not only can the users record "as much or as little as they want," but clips can include separately recorded commentary. This will be handled with the Kinect camera and displayed picture-in-picture in the final clip.

We've reached out to Microsoft to confirm that users can record as much as they'd like, as this is a significant change.

[Source: VG 24/7]


Our Take
With a suite of simple editing tools and the ability to record commentary, the Xbox One's gameplay sharing features just became significantly more powerful. If correct, the ability to record extended clips well beyond the five-minute buffer window is equally as important. 

This will make recording Let's Play videos more feasible for neophytes, as no one really wants to watch those in five-minute chunks. It likely won't change the way established YouTubers approach their work (since external capture devices will work right away on Xbox One), but it does provide better options to those looking to experiment.