Microsoft’s new Xbox One is scheduled for a launch in November 2013 and brings with it a bunch of new features and abilities, such as on-the-fly DVR game recording, complete with the option to upload your captured gameplay videos to your Xbox Live profile and share them with your friends.
During an AMA (Ask Me Anything) hosted by IGN, Microsoft’s Chief Xbox One architect, Marc Whitten detailed some of the console’s DVR features. The console will be able to save the last five minutes of your gameplay and upload it to the cloud in the background, leaving you to carry on playing your game without having to do anything beyond a simple button press.
If you only want a tiny snippet of the gameplay, you also have the option to upload the last thirty (30) seconds of your gameplay as well. Said Whitten:
“Game DVR captures beautiful clips at 720p 30fps. The first thing you’ll see with our game DVR is the integration of our Upload service on the console. This service allows you to manage, edit, and share your content. Your clips are stored in the cloud. Also, you’ll see games making “magic moment” videos of your gameplay based on the game DVR functionality – all seamlessly integrated. You’ll be able to see these clips in the Xbox One Guide, in your own game DVR collection, and when you are looking at gamercards on the system. You’ll also see games take advantage of this platform capability and do interesting things to integrate captured game footage into the game experience itself.
That last part is particularly interesting. Whitten’s comments imply that games would be able to take captured footage and integrate that gameplay into the game again. Halo did this with its recording feature, merely saving player movement in the game along with audio instead of rendering and capturing each individual frame.
It may be possible, for example, to see your captured footage be played in-game on a screen somewhere, replayed for your enjoyment. I actually wanted this feature badly in Need for Speed ProStreet, because in the game’s menu when you were not racing, there were screens in the background that just displayed some of the game’s icons. How cool would it have been to see some of your best lap times played back in that environment, complete with commentary?
In addition, once the video is uploaded to the cloud, you can use the Upload Studio to edit the video online. None of that work is done by the console – its all on the server.
DVR functionality not free
The DVR functionality is not going to be free with Xbox One console, requiring an Xbox Live Gold subscription ($5/month; $60/year).
Features are available to Xbox Live Gold members only include: TV Guide; SmartMatch multiplayer match-making; DVR functionality for recording gameplay; and access to the Upload Studio.
Vanilla Xbox Live users will not be able to use any of these features.
Sony’s Playstation 4, on the other hand, will also do game streaming for up to 15 minutes and does not restrict this, or any other functionality (aside from online multi-player) to PS Plus members only.
On launch, all Playstation 4 owners will be able to use most of the features of the console without having to sign up for PS Plus, which includes access to the Hulu and Netflix applications.