Standby for Titanfall streams. Microsoft announced Tuesday that Twitch.tv integration will come to the Xbox One on March 11, calling it "the best broadcasting and spectating experience on any console." That's the same day the highly anticipated robot-on-robot shooter--a Microsoft console exclusive--is scheduled to launch.
According to Microsoft's post, starting a stream will be as easy as saying "Xbox, broadcast" to your Kinect--meaning you don't have to pause a game to initiate a stream, which is fairly ingenious. The system also notifies your friends when you start broadcasting, and viewers who want a more personal touch can even join your game and fight alongside or against you.
Chat is included, and can be snapped to the left or right side of the screen (or disabled so the game can run fullscreen), though I imagine typing out lengthy messages on a controller will still be a pain. Picture-in-picture video is taken from the Kinect, and can be positioned in any corner of the screen.
The Xbox One also allows you to archive your Twitch streams, something the PlayStation 4 currently does not support. There's been no update from Sony on when archiving will arrive.
Unfortunately (but unsurprisingly) Twitch is locked to Xbox Live Gold subscribers, like most of the Xbox One fancier features.
The PlayStation 4 has had streaming since launch, but in a fairly limited capacity--especially after Sony and Twitch cracked down and throttled users who started streaming things that weren't game related (and often veryNSFW).
Microsoft's challenge, on the other hand, is quality-related. The console already features a video capture feature (triggered by saying "Xbox, record that") which captures the last 30 seconds of playtime. As we noted in our review, however, the quality is atrocious. It's ostensibly 720p video, 30 frames per second, but those numbers are meaningless when the bitrate is garbage.
Streaming is hardware-intensive. With Microsoft already struggling to keep up with Sony in terms of power (see the recent rash of games running at a higher resolution on the PS4), it's unclear how the console will handle streaming--not just now, but in the future when games are more robust and need every ounce of power the Xbox can give.
I guess we'll see what the streams look like on March 11, when the app launches.
Oh, and I almost forgot the most important point: "You can even earn Media Achievements just by spectating as you normally would."