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How Game Streaming Went From Shaky Webcams To the PS4 113

An anonymous reader writes "A slightly different take on Sony's PS4 semi-launch this week. This article traces the history and growing trend of capturing/recording and streaming your gameplay on the internet, from the early days of Let's Play articles with screenshots to today, where pro-gamers make money by playing live on Twitch.tv, and the technology is built into the PlayStation 4: 'Multiplayer video games have been around since the beginning — just look at Pong. Sony's real breakthrough with the PS4 might not be the specs, but its ability to turn every game you play into a multiplayer one.'"
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How Game Streaming Went From Shaky Webcams To the PS4

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  • by guttentag ( 313541 ) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @03:28AM (#42994063) Journal

    Sony's real breakthrough with the PS4 might not be the specs, but its ability to turn every game you play into a multiplayer one.

    This is not a breakthrough. They already did this with the PS3. Every time I turned the thing on I found myself stuck in a multiplayer game. When I wanted to stream Netflix videos, I'd spend 30-60 minutes in a tug of war between Sony, Netflix, Content Owners and Content Pirates... The Content Pirates would get an edge on Netflix, which would update its software to keep the Content Owners happy, but Sony would make the customers update over their network and lock up the machine for an hour once a week. That game got old so I stopped playing. When I wanted to use OtherOS, I found myself stuck in a multiplayer game between the hobbyists, Sony's marketing department, Sony's software developers, and Sony's legal team. Ultimately, that game got old too, so I stopped playing.

    One would think Sony would learn from this, but even if one head of the Sony hydra learned, it couldn't focus on the concept for very long because the other heads are too busy snapping at it.

  • Re:Hey gamers! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @05:05AM (#42994317)

    The difference is whether or not watching them do whatever they do is interesting. And, bluntly, unless you're a parent of one of the little leaguers out there, watching a bunch of kids try to kick or catch a ball without stumbling over their own feet is not. It's not entertainment. It's torture.

    And the same applies to watching 99% of the people out there play a computer game. It simply is not interesting. The people who are interesting to watch, be it computer or football players, know how to make it interesting. Because, by itself, it is not. The rules are known and you pretty much know what can happen next. The interesting part is the execution, and also the entertainment value.

    Yes, "good" players are mostly entertainers. That's the key feature what they are good at: They know how to make watching them entertaining.

    Why it is entertaining depends on how they do it. It can be entertaining to watch someone do something you couldn't do and the enjoyment comes out of seeing how someone pulled something off that you didn't manage to do. I get this out of some YouTube videos of guys playing guitar in ways I couldn't even dream of. I can play guitar, but I don't even exist next to some of those guys. Likewise, watching videos of people who are only as good as me isn't entertaining to me.

    Or people can make it entertaining despite not being exceptional at what they do itself because they can add something insightful, something informative or something funny. A game review by someone who is an accomplished storyteller sure beats one by someone who is a crack at playing games but can't come up with some witty remarks.

    Entertainment is the key word here, it has to entertain those watching. How it does that is of course up to the spectator. And while I'm sure most parents are entertained to see their offspring chase after some ball, most who have no special interest in any of the rugrats out on the field wouldn't be too entertained. Because the objective entertainment value of it is rather limited.

    And the same applies to watching Joe Average play some kind of computer game. It's nothing special.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson