One of the defining features of both next-gen consoles is their ability to stream live gameplay. Although Sony has had issues with several elements of the PlayStation 4 launch, Twitch and Ustream have been running smoothly right out of the box. This isn’t going to be the case for the Xbox One, however. Microsoft’s latest post on the Xbox Wire states that “[Twitch streaming] won’t be available right away” but the team will be looking to “deliver it during the first part of 2014.” Instead, Xbox Live Gold members will be limited to viewing broadcasts until Xbox One streaming is ready for primetime.
Microsoft has tried to balance out this piece of bad news with some details of the Xbox One’s exclusive Twitch features. First up is Snap mode, which allows you to watch a live gameplay stream on one side of the screen while playing games, watching TV or using an entertainment app on the other. Instant switch is another unique feature that gives you the ability to say “Xbox, go to Twitch” out loud to the Kinect sensor to quickly access the app. Microsoft is even offering 10 achievements for watching streams over the Twitch app, but you’ll have to watch a lot of gaming if you want to add those points to your profile.
Streaming has become a phenomenon that stretches beyond the hardcore gaming crowd, and hundreds if not thousands of gamers are giving it a try for the first time with the release of the PlayStation 4. Microsoft is missing out on the uninitiated streamers by failing to prepare Twitch for launch, but it’s just as important that the app works as advertised before it’s released on the Xbox One.