Despite a pretty restrictive policy on gameplay capture over HDMI on the PS3, Sony has announced they will support the option with the PS4. They made the announcement at Tokyo Game Show on Wednesday night almost unceremoniously, and later confirmed the news over Twitter.
Although the PS4 will feature its own internal form of gameplay capture and streaming software, many gamers (commonly referred to as “let’s play-ers”) have their own set-up. That way they can either stream or capture gameplay while also recording commentary or even recording a webcam. We have such a set-up for our gameplay preview videos.
At first, most news outlets weren’t sure Sony had actually made the announcement, as it seemed to slip under the radar at Sony’s Tokyo Game Show presser. But, when asked post-conference, Sony’s Brad Douglas confirmed that, yes, the PS4 will support game capture over HDMI. Here’s his tweet for further proof.
I think we just announced that we’re going to allow video capture of games over HDMI! “Details will follow soon.”
– Brad Douglas (@kazamatsuri) September 19, 2013
This news will be particularly pleasing to that group of gamers, and even those who simply like to capture gameplay for their own enjoyment. The PS3 unfortunately offered no form of HDMI capture — although some gamers were able to work around those limitations either through component output or other means.
Those workarounds, thankfully, are a thing of the past moving forward. Now, owners of the El Gato, the HD PVR, or any other popular brand of game capture device or card can record and stream their gameplay straight through HDMI.
It’s a smart move on Sony’s part to allow gameplay capture through HDMI as it puts them on even footing with the Xbox One, which supports capture over HDMI just like the 360. No matter how you feel about gameplay videos or “Let’s Play” videos, they have become big business, so much so that Nintendo was willing to block those types of videos from appearing online.
For even further proof how important gameplay capture is as a business, just look at the most subscribed-to channel on YouTube, PewDiePie. That channel as well as many of the other popular channels online are built almost exclusively around gameplay capture. It’s become so prevalent that it is easier to find a YouTube personality who doesn’t record gameplay commentary than one who does.
Whether or not Sony made this decision on behalf of the thousands of Let’s Play-ers out there is unclear, but the feature is in the PS4 regardless. We will certainly be taking advantage of the HDMI capture capabilities.
How do you feel about the PS4 supporting gameplay capture over HDMI? Do you think that was an important feature for Sony to include?
The PS4 releases November 15, 2013.