With all this buzz about the next generation of consoles and what each has to offer, there is a suspicious absence of YouTube in the conversations. While this is a niche most gamers don’t think about, it is a very real concern for many people who make their livelihood with YouTube channels centered on gaming. For all intensive purposes, the WiiU will be ignored and focus put on Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s Playstation 4 and their sharing abilities.
If you are into gaming videos on YouTube then you already know how saturated of a market it has become. Anyone with a laptop and a camera thinks they can make it big with a decent game of Call of Duty and their thoughts on Pepsi vs. Coke in the grand scheme of things. Finding solid channels with both interesting gameplay and well thought out and spoken commentary is becoming more and more difficult. The share feature built-in to the new consoles threaten to increase this oversaturation by allowing direct uploads to YouTube. Get ready for a sea of game clips with no additional processing, editing, or commentary if this goes down the road many are predicting. There will be no escape.
Sony is also riding high on their HDCP stance, making it more difficult for creators using expensive high-definition capture cards like El Gato or Black Magic Intensity Pro, to record gameplay to their computer. HDCP stands for High Definition Copyright Protection and was developed in an effort to prevent pirating DVDs and BluRays. On the most basic level, it encodes a level of encryption onto the HDMI cable and prevents it from being read by a capture card. This technology was built into the Playstation 3 and seems like it will be included in Playstation 4 as well. Most creators bypassed this by using the included composite cables instead of the HDMI, but that may not be an option in the next generation.
Microsoft hasn’t said anything officially about their stance and inclusion of HDCP so it is likely many creators will be going that route if they still want to record easily from their console. The Xbox One also has a sharing feature but it hasn’t been widely discussed or publicized in any real light. Plus, there is always the PC option if they go down the Microsoft path.
So, where does this leave the average YouTube subscriber? Will there be a clear-cut winner in terms of ease of production? And will this affect our watching of walkthroughs, let’s plays, and other commentaries? We’ll have to wait it out and see what the future holds.