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How Game Streaming Went From Shaky Webcams To the PS4

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the my-insomnia-is-not-yet-that-serious dept.

PlayStation (Games) 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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113 comments

Hey gamers! (-1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about a year and a half ago | (#42993839)

Heads up gamers, nobody wants to watch videos of you playing games, especially not your family or coworkers who are not 60-hour-a-week gamers, so please stop sending us Youtube links, okay? I'm never going to play in the NFL and you are never going to make a living playing games in your mom's basement, deal with it.

Re:Hey gamers! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42993865)

HAHAHA!
Tell that to AVG/VGA, AVGN, Angry Joe, PewDiePie, TobyGames, Game Grumps, Machinima...the list goes on. Basically, what I'm getting at is that people already make a living off of "Let's Play" videos on YouTube/TwitchTv/Rev3.
How about you stop telling people what to do? Nobody cares about your "never gonna happen" attitude when it's already been done.

Re:Hey gamers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42993929)

Don't forget LGR. He's the best of them.

Re:Hey gamers! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994009)

The fact is that pong was late to the party [imgur.com]

Warning: Goatse Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994765)

You really should stop posting self portraits on the Internet.

those are experienced video game reviewers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42993937)

Many of which are experienced video game reviewers, whom are also skilled gamers. A good video game review is harder to do than it looks. I think the OP is right, in that the average person does not want to see a video of the average gamer gaming. I don't.

Re:those are experienced video game reviewers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42993975)

I do. The crappier and more amateur the "let's play" videos are the funnier they can get.

Re:those are experienced video game reviewers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994171)

None of them are good reviewers or skilled gamers. They are worth watching because they are either funny or willing to suffer through games that you might find interesting, but would never buy or play.

Re:Hey gamers! (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994193)

Yeeeeees... and while a lot of people love watching the Superbowl, it's kinda tedious to watch some little league games.

I hope you see the SLIGHT difference between watching a professional do what he is really good at, and watching some self absorbed geek pretend to be someone special.

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994211)

There is no difference. Both are still playing a game. Neither are necessary for the world to continue, they are both merely forms of entertainment.

And "self absorbed geek"? Really? You think those "professionals" are real humble, stand-up kind of guys?

Re:Hey gamers! (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994407)

I have zero interested in watching any kind of sports and so do many others. I do, however, like watching some gamers because I am a gamer.

Different people, different opinions. Stop trying to belittle others' means of enjoyment. One isn't more important or better than another.

Re:Hey gamers! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994521)

I have zero interested in watching any kind of sports and so do many others. I do, however, like watching some gamers because I am a gamer.

Different people, different opinions. Stop trying to belittle others' means of enjoyment. One isn't more important or better than another.

While I do agree with you on the "more important or better", clearly society thinks you are dead fucking wrong.

Go find me the professional gamer making the league minimum in any professional sport.

Now go find me "the best" who makes $100 million over 5 years, with another $200 million in endorsements.

Yeah, I thought so.

Like I said, I agree with you, but clearly you are delusional.

Re:Hey gamers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994801)

Society also thinks that Justin Bieber is an awesome musician, personally I don't and I pity you for holding money as the most important thing in life.

Opinions, by definition, cannot be right or wrong no matter how many people think one way or the other.

Re:Hey gamers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42995331)

Go find me the professional gamer making the league minimum in any professional sport.

In 2010 the Starcraft player Lim Yo-Hwan [escapistmagazine.com] had an annual salary of $400,000 + $90,000 in endorsements.
For Major League Soccer [ehow.com] the minimum salary is $40,000.

This doesn't mean that your entire point is wrong but don't use arguments that can be refuted within a minute of googling.
I also recommend that you try to be less of an ass when you don't provide sources.

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year and a half ago | (#42995585)

well to be fair, in america, MLS is probably cared about at the same level or less than gaming. If you went with NFL or MLB, the numbers would be a little more to the point he was making. Hell Major League Rugby players still play for free, some of them.

Re:Hey gamers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42995695)

Now go find me "the best" who makes $100 million over 5 years, with another $200 million in endorsements.

Pretty sure Nicolaus Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Ludwig van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart didn't make anywhere near those amounts either. Guess that makes them less valuable to the human race than your field monkeys too. Carlos Slim and Bill Gates must be the two best people in the world according to you.

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994603)

I bet you a 1000 bucks, I couldn't even PAY you enough to watch me play. Hell, you'd ask me for your time back. That's pretty much what I am saying.

Watching someone who can make it ENTERTAINING for the audience is fun. Watching some random idiot play the same game is torture. And the problem I foresee is that 99% of the people out there make it torture enough that most will stop sifting through the crap before even finding that one guy who is interesting to watch.

Re:Hey gamers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42995067)

Then it's a good thing that I have a choice in who I watch and for what reason. Let's plays for entertainment and straight gameplay for research before a purchase, hints or because it's something so bad that it's funny but I would never buy or play myself.

If people gave up as easily as you say, then there wouldn't be let's play channels with tens of thousands of viewers and millions of views.

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997775)

Again, I don't question the information value of channels for reviews and the entertainment value of watching good players easily beat a tricky part in a game. I just question that more than a tiny, insignificant fraction of people are worth being watched playing.

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994961)

Star Craft 2 Cheese, there is an entire show dedicated to the worst players. Good announcers though.

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997555)

It's a Millennial Generation (Gen-Y) thing. Here are some aspects of this generation.

Self-absorbed - Check
Narcissist - Check
Trophy Kid - Check
Precious snowflake - Check
Caring less of government affairs compared to prior generations - Check

Or in other words. The exact 100% polar opposite of Nationalistic attitude.

Don't worry. The Chinese will kick all of you western asses into shape. If your man about it that is. *chuckle* *weep*. Ahh...we are so fucked...

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

flyneye (84093) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994781)

Lol, Hey Everybody! Watch me play " Evony" for hours on end!

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

SilenceBE (1439827) | about a year and a half ago | (#42993879)

Heads up gamers, nobody wants to watch videos of you playing games, especially not your family or coworkers who are not 60-hour-a-week gamers, so please stop sending us Youtube links, okay? I'm never going to play in the NFL and you are never going to make a living playing games in your mom's basement, deal with it.

I'm not particularly interested in streaming video about games, but seeing the popularity (also regarding viewers) in these services I won't say that nobody wants to watch these kind of video.

Re:Hey gamers! (5, Informative)

Seumas (6865) | about a year and a half ago | (#42993893)

Where have you been hiding? There is a massive audience for watching people gaming. Perhaps a game that you haven't played nor will you ever. Perhaps an old game that you are unlikely to ever touch. Perhaps you're watching a very skilled person in a competitive game. Maybe someone with great commentary and an enjoyable sense of humor. I sometimes enjoy watching people game (or sometimes just have it on in the back ground) the same way I would enjoy watching people participate in any sport that I competed in, myself, at one time.

Youtube is filled with this and the successful ones have hundreds of thousands or even millions of views. The entire twitch.tv network is built on nothing but live streaming gaming.

The only real problem is the incredible copyright headache that is involved. I don't see how anyone can find doing this worthwhile, when confronted with the reality of the imbalanced and unpredictable copyright that could turn your hobby or livelihood (yes, some of these guys make a living at this, apparently) upside down overnight, just because someone decided to target your stream with a DMCA slap.

Another poster, below, already mentioned a lot of people making serious money doing this for a living. Some less than others, but there's a lot of money to be made for some of these guys simply for playing a game and recording it (or live streaming it). Why shouldn't they, if there's an audience for it? Granted, some are better than others. There are some that are built around nothing but personality (for example, that PewDiePie guy who is obnoxious and spastic and only appeals to toddlers) and some that are built around skill. Others around explaining tips or tricks or offering walkthroughs.

Seriously, there are guys streaming their gameplay on youtube that earn six figure salaries from it. It's insane.

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994053)

I've watched some of the SSoHPKC walkthroughs and it doesn't seem too insane. Established youtube channel with ads and 10k-50k views per 10 minute spot. Sounds like better ratings than what some of my local TV stations get.

Re:Hey gamers! (4, Funny)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994245)

People watch GOLF.

Watching video games is way more exciting.

People PAY to watch Golf.....

Re:Hey gamers! (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994431)

Here I was, belaboring under the mistaken notion that the fun part of gaming was gaming. Thanks for clearing that up for me. Most sports are out of reach due to the athletic requirements, but anyone can play a computer game. I suppose this is just more evidence of the trend of not wanting to do anything but be a passive observer. Oh well, let's make money off it, capitalism makes it all better!

Re:Hey gamers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994559)

Name one sport that is out of reach due to "athletic requirements". Aside from physical disability or extreme obesity, anyone can participate in most any sport they choose. Granted, the majority of the population may not be any good or even be fit enough to play for long. The majority will also be absolute fodder to the elite.

Gaming is the same. Anyone can participate. Only a few can be at the top. The majority of the population are fodder to the elite.

There is nothing wrong with being a "passive observer" some of the time. We all need down time. We all need to switch off and zone out in whatever way seems best to us. Some people choose to spend their time watching other people play games, either because they are fascinated by the extreme skill of some players, or the players they watch have interesting / funny experiences they wish to share.

The fact that one watches games doesn't mean they are automatically lazy slobs that never do anything else in their lives. It's called down time and is a very healthy attribute in well-adjusted human beings, so long as it is not enjoyed excessively - same as ANY form of entertainment.

Stop being so judgmental. Dick.

Re:Hey gamers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994587)

Gaming is the same. Anyone can participate. Only a few can be at the top. The majority of the population are fodder to the elite.

Which is nice, but doesn't explain gaming videos on YouTube. Have you ever seen them? The majority are posted by players that are anything but "elite." They're by players who are horrible at games, but can't get enough of the sound of their own voice, and just have to drone on and on while repeatedly dying at a video game.

You also might notice another common trend for gaming videos that people actually watch and sports: they're both PVP. Watching very talented players take on other very talented players is fun. That's why people watch sports, to watch the competition.

Which, again, fails to explain why the hell anyone would want to watch someone else repeated die in a single player game. Yet that's what most of those "let's play" videos are - single player games played by someone who can't shut the fuck up.

Re:Hey gamers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994807)

>Which, again, fails to explain why the hell anyone would want to watch someone else repeated die in a single player game.
Same reason why people watch losers on talk shows watching them fail hard so that they can feel better about themselves...

Re:Hey gamers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42995129)

Because they're funny or insightful. It doesn't matter how good a person is at a game if they are entertaining or informative. Even someone who is none of those can post a helpful video because I can see what the games are like.

Youtube is a place for people to post their personal videos. It doesn't matter if they are popular. I'm not sure why you are so concerned about them anyways. You aren't forced to watch them. It seems like you just want something to complain about instead of actually doing anything yourself and no matter how little you think gaming videos contribute, they are contributing more than you and that pisses you off.

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994793)

Everybodyseemsto be coolwith what theydo. If even Sony worries about wether streaming is easy enough to achieve or not that'ssomething to consider.Sony of allpeople.

...and then there is also ofcourse Sega who started slapping around people over footage of an age old Dreamcast game.
Silly, silly Sega.

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

nielsm (1616577) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994931)

...and then there is also ofcourse Sega who started slapping around people over footage of an age old Dreamcast game.

Silly, silly Sega.

That sounds like some kind of vengeance. "We couldn't make this popular, so we'll make certain you won't either."

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year and a half ago | (#42995361)

Something more sinister was going on. They used DMCA takedowns so that game wouldn't be found.
They have a sequel in the works and would rather have people find that.
The result of course is a full blown boycott of Youtubers with two or more strikes on their account. And when your livelyhood depends on it, well...
Riddle me this, Batman: What game publisher will not get any free coverage whatsoever?

Silly, silly Sega.

Re:Hey gamers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42995591)

Youtube is filled with this and the successful ones have hundreds of thousands or even millions of views.

It won't be the case once PS4 goes live. Youtube will then be filled with videos of kids dying every 10 seconds playing CoD MW7 or Halo 12. Imagine typing "XXX gamplay" (where XXX is some random game you want to check out) and in return getting 10 000 000 videos of people just standing idly, verbally scratching their asses or basically being shit at games they play and videos they make (because let's be honest - overwhelming majority of gamers are shit at gaming, and even less are good at entertaining people, otherwise e-sports would already be part of the Olympics). This is precisely what will happen now. If anything, it will make it harder for everyone to find an interesting and entertaining gameplay video among the crap posted every millisecond by some random idiots. And that's why it's a very bad idea. If someone is good at gaming or entertaining people and wants to show it, there's already plenty of ways to go about it, and it doesn't cost that much either.

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996317)

Unfortunately, this is correct. I hate and despise the fact that my own kids, 15 and 13 at this point, would far prefer to watch somebody's youtube 'lets play' video of a game rather than play through themselves. My 15 year old also tends to play games with a strat guide or gamefaqs walkthrough, following the steps religiously. To which I say, 'what's the goddamn point?'

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997011)

To be fair, todays games are much more linear and story driven than they were ages ago. You can even get stuck in a FPS and not for want of health packs! And that genere has ever been the least cerebral of all.
then there is the decline of the common game manual. The type of manual that contained formulas and figures behind the pixels. Nowadays you have to rely on others to do the theory crafting or invest quite a lot of time yourself.
In the olden days when we got stuck we did grind our teeth and tried everything. Now you have a Steam library full of other things jumping up and down, shouting for your attention.

He who hath solved Day of the Tentacle without a walkthrough may throw the first stone. Those were the reasons why we bought gaming mags in the first place. One of the finest adventure games ever(The Last Express) was IMPOSSIBLE to finish without a walkthrough. If you didn't show up at the right place at the right time the game was unfinishable. Which you would realise a couple of hours after the fact. Hell, I wouldn't even have finished Ultima 6 without a hint or two from a walkthrough.

Re:Hey gamers! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42993911)

Heads up gamers, nobody wants to watch videos of you playing games, especially not your family or coworkers who are not 60-hour-a-week gamers, so please stop sending us Youtube links, okay? I'm never going to play in the NFL and you are never going to make a living playing games in your mom's basement, deal with it.

Typical /. fallacy - "I don't want something so it means nobody else wants it either."

Other posts have pointed out, these videos are popular, so what you think is irrelevant. What's more, _I_ have on many occasions would wanted to show my other gaming friends of my gaming, be it a new game I would like to introduce them to, or some cool or funny stuff I encountered.

Yeah, I know, that's what people with friends usually do, so I guess it must be a totally foreign concept to some basement dwelling /.ers.

Re:Hey gamers! (4, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about a year and a half ago | (#42993959)

To be fair, that's my general attitude, also. I guess it's just human nature. That's why I responded to that previous Slashdot article about the open source emoji stuff by kicking in a few bucks. Sometimes I find that is a good way to counter my initial reaction of "I AM OLD AND WHAT IS THIS NEW THING I AM SO SCARED OF YOUNG PEOPLE AND NEW IDEAS!"

Anyway, I find watching people playing games fun, because I like playing games. Same way I like watching some sports, because I used to enjoy playing them. And of all the drivel on youtube and other streaming services, people playing videogames are far more constructive and less hideous than most of the content. Good on them for doing something potentially constructive (which is weird to say about video games, in a way).

Re:Hey gamers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994733)

Typical /. fallacy - "I don't want something so it means nobody else wants it either."

No, but I think it's a fair point that no one SHOULD want to do it.

I mean, people on Slashdot also don't understand why anyone would want to broadcast the mundane details of their life via Facebook, or do the exact same thing with a restrictive character limit via Twitter. And people still use those.

Doesn't mean that the people using Facebook and Twitter are "right" - they're just idiots. Just because something is popular doesn't make it smart.

Likewise, anyone who finds watching other people play video games - games that are designed to be interactive, that are intended to be played, and not watched - is an idiot. Pure and simple.

I mean, there's some big awards show on tonight that people won't shut up about. I'm not going to watch it, because it's a boring waste of time, no matter how many people disagree.

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

fisted (2295862) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994803)

Wow, i've rarely seen something this stupid.

Re:Hey gamers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42995175)

I other words, you want everyone to be the same, the exact thing that you claim to discourage. How can you not see the irony in what you are saying?

People are interested in different things, some of them are popular and some not. Deal with it.

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996253)

Do you feel the same way about sports? Or do you not think that sports are "intended to be played"? I know people who do in fact feel that way about being spectators for every competitive activity: That they should do something better with their lives. But the argument you used doesn't single out video games.

Re:Hey gamers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42993935)

I think you miss the point of why a lot of people watch these LPs: time.

Sure, I could buy a game for $60 that I'll play for 20 hours over the next two months (as an extremely generous estimate), or I can look up someone's recording of them playing the game, get the same experience, and come away $60 richer. As an added benefit you can skip the boring parts! (Can't tell you how much better that made Dead Space 3: I'd see a monster pop out, I'd skip ahead a minute or so in the video, and continue on watching the game.)

The only games this strategy doesn't work with are RPGs, because you actually have meaningful choices in those games. Hence why I only own RPGs and casual games for quick bursts of fun, but I digress.

All good things must come to an end, though. The proliferation of the "pro gamers" mentioned in the summary, as these videos become mainstream, are dramatically increasing the signal-to-noise ratio of what's available. You used to have an even chance not even six months ago of searching for "walkthrough" "playthrough" or "Let's Play" and getting what you were looking for. Now the odds are you'll end up with some obnoxious gaming personality who feels the need to give color commentary all over the game (and its cutscenes). Don't even get me started on the fools who are doing the picture-in-picture face-cams so you can see their reaction to what's happening on screen, like the whole thing is being streamed as one of those terrible Japanese gameshows.

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42993957)

As an added benefit you can skip the boring parts!

I'm guessing this line of reasoning also applies to why some women love soap operas more than actual relationships.

Re:Hey gamers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42993979)

I could buy a game for $60 that I'll play for 20 hours over the next two months (as an extremely generous estimate), or I can look up someone's recording of them playing the game, get the same experience, and come away $60 richer.

Bullshit. Watching someone play a game is a completely different experience from playing the game yourself. Maybe I'm alone in this (I don't think so), but I find watching other people play boring, even if I like the game. That said, I do watch (on mute since they're mentally incapable of shutting the fuck up) a few seconds of walkthroughs to get an idea of what a game is like since reviews and scores are easy to buy (or, alternativelly, reviews aren't made for people who share my tastes).

Re:Hey gamers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42995247)

Maybe I'm alone in this (I don't think so), but I find watching other people play boring, even if I like the game. That said, I do watch (on mute since they're mentally incapable of shutting the fuck up) a few seconds of walkthroughs to get an idea of what a game is like since reviews and scores are easy to buy

So then you've found your value in the videos. Is it so difficult to believe other people find different value?

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994023)

Heads up gamers, nobody wants to watch videos of you playing games, especially not your family or coworkers who are not 60-hour-a-week gamers, so please stop sending us Youtube links, okay? I'm never going to play in the NFL and you are never going to make a living playing games in your mom's basement, deal with it.

So, you're saying that people should stop with all the NFL-videos and other sports both online and on TV because they will never become professional players themselves? Hmm, an interesting proposition. Getting all that crap out of the TV and various online services is a lofty goal, so I support this idea.

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994151)

> nobody wants to watch videos of you playing games, especially not your family or coworkers who are not 60-hour-a-week gamers, so please stop sending us Youtube links

Total Nonsense. I completed one of the maps on Payday The Heist last year on the hardest difficulty solo stealth just to prove that it could be done and have a few thousand views. Clearly a few people are interested.

Sometimes walkthroughs can be informative. i.e. "Cult of the Vault" symbols for Borderlands 2, Portal 1 & 2 challenges, etc.

I've completed Mirror's Edge but I could understand if someone just wanted to watch a play through of "Mirrors Edge" as it would certainly be a hell of a lot less aggravating then trying to get all the perfect timing to pull off moves.

Just because _you_ don't find game solution to be all that interesting does not imply no one else does.

Get off your high horse already.

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994219)

Well, judging from a lot of youtube videos, it highly depends on the title of your video to judge whether you have a few thousand viewers or a few thousand people going "oh fsck". :)

But seriously. In general, yes, there are certain (few) videos of games that can garner some views. Videos that show you how to reach a certain point, how to beat a certain boss or obstacle, how to unlock some secret and of course videos for the purpose of reviewing and judging a title before buying it.

But let's be honest here, the goal is in all of those cases not to watch someone play a game. The goal is to get something from it: Information. How to get something in a game, what hidden secrets are there or simply whether it's good enough to spend my hard earned greens on it. Nobody really wants to watch you play it. They want to get something from you. They care for those 10 seconds or 10 minutes that show them what they want to know.

But do you really think someone would want to watch someone play a game for a few hours, a game which most likely (as most games these days do) consists of repeating the same kind of fight or pace down the same road over and over again? I HARDLY think so.

Re:Hey gamers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42995285)

In general, yes, there are certain (few) videos of games that can garner some views.

Thousands of videos and millions of views. Looking at the number of views for just the seven gameplay channels I subscribe to, I see these numbers:

210 subs and 1,218,497 views
450 subs and 1,841,503 views
4,310 subs and 2,117,205 views
56,703 subs and 8,149,791 views
71,743 subs and 18,053,843 views
32,671 subs and 30,164,599 views
968,607 subs and 351,690,559 views

Your opinion is not fact, so please don't speak for other people. It makes you look pretentious and uninformed.

Re:Hey gamers! (2)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994253)

Or people are laments like me... I don't have 80 hours of play time to pull off what ends up being a 60 minute play thru.

Watching play thrus is the only way I ever see the end of $50 games anymore.

Explain reality TV then (4, Funny)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994191)

I don't really want to watch someone else playing games either... yet I do watch other people working, eating and even having sex. Hell, the watching other people have sex industry is gigantic. And the BBC has a watching other people eat show every 30 minutes (and to humorless moderators, that is a joke, not a statement to be taken as literal claim to the BBC programming, that would be every 15 minutes).

And even the NFL comment is wrong... people pay to watch people remove toilets from buildings in Dirty Jobs. Watch mental retards fail to find gold in the ground but find it in broadcasting deals in stead. Hell Big Brother was nothing more then people sitting in their living room watching other people sitting in theirs. And it was a massive hit.

Lets analyse OC choppers. They aren't doing anything fancy or hightech. By watching it, you are not finding out how other people live their lives. It are just a bunch of overly fat rich white guys who suck at planning (did they EVER just start building a bike on time so it was finished in plenty of time) building gay bikes. How many seasons did it run?

Compared to that, watching someone else game... well it could hardly be anymore boring could it? And really the entire sports industry has proven for decades that people are willing to pay top dollar to watch someone else be marginally better at something that doesn't matter. Why cares who put a little ball the most times in the net? Most of the planet it seems.

I agree, it is time for Humanity 2.0 lets call this run a proof of concept and get god/evolution to do a radical redesign and come up with something less couch potato who doesn't fold at the knees at the sign of a crown, oscar or MVP award.

Re:Explain reality TV then (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994293)

All very fine examples, but at the same time they give their own reason why people watch it: They wait for something interesting to happen. Some twist, something exciting or simply the ability to say "gee, at least I am not that deep down in the shit".

That's also the appeal of talk shows, I'm kinda convinced.

I don't get Dirty Jobs, I guess it's one of those "I'm glad I don't have to do it" things. OC Choppers I chalk off as a mix of the hope that the old guy freaks out and of course the appeal of stuff that has some sort of engine in it to some guys. Big Brother is simply... heck I dunno. Maybe a mix of all those traits.

Nothing of this applies to games. It's a given that there will be fights, but they are uninteresting because nobody can really die (which is, btw, IMO the appeal of those "Our soldiers in Afghanistan" shows that pop up left and right right now). Plus, you've seen one fight in most games, you've seen them all due to the limits of the game mechanic. There are only so many "moves", only so many animations your character can go through 'til you have seen them all. The only appeal afterwards is just that you, the player, have to get better at executing them, something that doesn't apply to someone just watching. The story of most games is mostly different from the average "Sally does Houston" in terms of the ESRB Rating, but it sure matches the amount of surprising twists and the thickness of the plot. Which may be ok if you're part of the plot, but I couldn't think of a game the story of which would be interesting as a mere spectator. Plus, considering the speed it progresses usually is so slow that you'd wish someone dug out the Dune director's cut and added some padding so you had something to watch instead.

Let's be level here, most games are simply not interesting for spectators. They were not meant to be. They were meant to be interesting to someone playing them. The problem here is that if they were interesting to watch they most likely wouldn't be too interesting to play. Because that would require an awful lot of putting it on rails, for more than one reason.

First and foremost, because then most people could not figure out where the heck the next step should take them. Ponder any movie that may come to your mind and tell me that you would have foreseen what the hero does next. There are simply so many information gaps that would have to be filled for the player so he could possibly come up with the same idea. Well, either that or he'd have to have played it through already so he doesn't do heaps of wrong turns first (which are, as we can hopefully all agree, not too interesting to watch, who'd want to watch a guy hit the "you cannot progress here now" wall for a few hours?), which limits the whole thing to walkthroughs, and we already got plenty of those.

Then there is the limit of paths the programmer can offer you. If the game offers you nearly infinite ways to progress, by the laws of the market they have to be very short ones. They can only put in so many "story lines" in a game before they run out of time (or money), which means that instead of, say, 30 steps to success they offer you 3x10 steps, which invariably leads to a shorter game experience.

And that's the main difference. There is very rarely a "surprising twist" in a game (and if, a 5 minute video showing just that is plenty more exciting than watching someone hack through 10 hours of monsters to get there). Most games are incredibly repetitive, which can be interesting for a gamer if the way it is presented and how he has to react to it is interesting, but it is mind numbing boring to watch. Take Elder Scrolls. Yes, playing it is fun. Making someone watch play it should be chalked off by AI as torture.

But the same is true of "sports" (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994477)

People watch curling (if I spelled that right) which is basically floor sweeping on ice. What can happen. Someone falls and hurts their bottom a bit. Yet, it is a sport that people watch. Darts? Rakes in millions of viewers. Although it suffered a setback after that Alas Smith and Jones sketch (or was it not the nine o'clock news).

Right now Nascar is in the news. Which is to racing what an empty room is to a maze. Turn left because if you turn right, you get a crash. Well MAYBE people watch for the crashes but really the people in the stands saw less of it, one video shows a guy totally unaware of a tire hurling towards him, he payed the ticket price for that?

I am NOT saying I can see the appeal it is just that I figure that if people can watch paint dry, then watching grass grow might also appeal to similar people.

Part of the appeal might be watching someone else do something better then you, or different then you. In Holland soccer is claimed to have 16 million national coaches (implying that the majority who don't give a hoot about soccer still want to be coach of something they don't care about). I can see people watching another gamer just to shout abuse at the tv screen "how could you not have seen that sniper" "they pay him for that?". There is money in this, the tabloids basically sell people they 5 minutes of righteous indignation about todays headline during their breakfast.

Remember that if you wrote down the concept of Columbo a "who-dunnit in which you know who-dunnit" before Columbo existed, people would have, and did say "this is never going to work". But it did.

There are pro-gamers and they are making a living out of showing how they play. It might make you no longer want to live on this planet but that is the reality.

Now will it be big? Who knows, a lot of people make their living catering to very small markets, let it be. There are things you are not meant to understand. Printerest for instance. In the days that Twitter is allowed to exists, the concept that someone might watch someone else watching paint dry has to be readily accepted because that is exactly what millions are doing right now.

The BBC has/had at the weekend in the morning a cooking show. Not 1 half hour show. Not 2 half hour shows back to back. Not two 1 hour special back to back. An entire morning of cooking... IN ENGLAND the country with the worst food in the world bar the USA. I would WELCOME watching someone playing pacman...

For that matter, in the Arcade days, isn't that what we all did? Watch the kid who could do it really well hoping that by standing behind him we would be as cool and attract the girls (flaw in this reasoning was that there never were any girls)?

You are basically a guy who is still arguing that reality TV is never going to take off. A noble thought but I can't help thinking of windmills and charging them for some reason. Pro gaming is here, it is sad but it is here to stay. Hopefully at the same dizzying heights as professional curling.

Re:But the same is true of "sports" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994593)

Well, as I pointed out elsewhere, yes, watching that one kid who could play it really well was fun. But face it, 99% of the time we just stood there and hoped that he's out of quarters soon because, well, we sucked at the game, but he sure made us look good.

And it's not going to be different with this. Yes, watching that one guy who can play a game really well and who can pull off moves we never thought possible will be entertaining. Watching the other 99% will be painful. Problem is, that all 100% think that everyone wants to see them play, and digging through the 99% just ain't worth it.

Re:But the same is true of "sports" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42995311)

Thank you for your opinion.

Re:But the same is true of "sports" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42995089)

Dr. Thorndyke (created by R. Austin Freeman) was doing mysteries in duplicate decades before Columbo existed.

Chinese writers were doing such centuries before Columbo.

Re:Hey gamers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994255)

If you wonder how they stream and chat, or other audience facts. Just repeat to yourself "It's just a game', I should really just relax.

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

flyneye (84093) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994787)

But what if we want to share the accomplishments of Farmville with our friends and family in realtime?
This could rival the wheel or fire as useful to mankind.

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42995301)

There are lots of lets plays but of good PC games and not shitty consoles. This is all nothing new. A lot of people don't have the time or skill or desire to play a game themselves, so they watch a well put together, cut, and edited lets play. Usually those have great commentary. Usually their done by people in the 25+ age range. Usually these people have a really specialized skill set, software, computers, equipment. And they usually put serious effort as in 16-18hr work days into producing as much of a quality show as they can.

This infuriates me that the PS4 folks think they can re-write history around this new trend in content production. I hope they succeed but not by claiming they did it first. So all this marketing hype is bullshit.

Re:Hey gamers! (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42995395)

Heads up gamers, nobody wants to watch videos of you playing games, especially not your family or coworkers who are not 60-hour-a-week gamers, so please stop sending us Youtube links, okay? I'm never going to play in the NFL and you are never going to make a living playing games in your mom's basement, deal with it.

And what makes you think anyone wants to listen to you being a dick about (the many) people who happen to enjoy something you don't?

Sounds pretty awesome (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42993853)

If you live in OPPOSITE LAND! Who but an absolute MORON would want this? I'll bet the people that implemented this also voted for Romney.

Huehuehue, all those Romney voters are such a bunch of r-tards. Lulz.

Hack the planet. 420, become Anonymous and Occupy Wall Street erryday.

Internet connection is sketchy enough in Australia (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42993873)

What if my ADSL goes down again like it did last night due to heavy rain? Will that turn my PS4 into a brick? Are console developers even caring at all about proper single player support?

Re:Internet connection is sketchy enough in Austra (2)

Seumas (6865) | about a year and a half ago | (#42993897)

I . . . don't think you understand this article.

Re:Internet connection is sketchy enough in Austra (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42993987)

Don't talk to it. It is a bot.

Re:Internet connection is sketchy enough in Austra (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994071)

You're a bot :(

Re:Internet connection is sketchy enough in Austra (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994705)

Does it please you to believe I am a bot?

Re:Internet connection is sketchy enough in Austra (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42996929)

When I think about it, there is indeed some kind of psychological satisfaction.

Re:Internet connection is sketchy enough in Austra (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994711)

Your internet went down? Where are you living, Zimbabwe? My internet goes down about as often as the power - i.e. essentially never.

Lets hope publishers and developers (4, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about a year and a half ago | (#42993943)

Lets hope Publishers and developers don't decide that now every game must have a multiplayer component, no matter how little it makes sense. I'm looking at you Dead Space.

Re:Lets hope publishers and developers (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994275)

You better believe it!

Sony is probably going to bake that into the developer handbook. That ought to add $10-$15 per game... And another "Xbox live" service mandatory with monthly fees to handle all the extra (forced) traffic. And an extra $15 for the special "sharing" button added to a $55 controller.

Re:Lets hope publishers and developers (1)

gTsiros (205624) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994511)

it is not art. it is not gaming. it is a business.

Re:Lets hope publishers and developers (1)

drolli (522659) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994859)

Its even more crappy if game developers try to "subtly push" you to support their spcial networking ambitions. Example: Asphalt 7 for android. A fun racing game, which i enjoy for short breaks or train travels. They have tasks, which are usually game-related, but at some point tasks appeared which were only reaalted to taking part in multiplayer events etc. now they block all the three slots available for tasks. I really dislike it. I dont intent to use the game as a multiplayer game, it was fine and fun without, the time during which i usually play it has no stable internet connection, and i am not going to allocate a time with any os my friends for this. Moreover it was unclear in the beginning og the game that this is the direction whcih it would take.

I cant wait... (1)

BrookHarty (9119) | about a year and a half ago | (#42993945)

I cant wait to stream used games...

Oh.

Best game recording ever! (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | about a year and a half ago | (#42993953)

I laugh every time I watch it. [youtube.com]

Not As New As You'd Think (4, Interesting)

guttentag (313541) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994063)

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:Not As New As You'd Think (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994207)

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.

Can I have your PS3 then?

Re:Not As New As You'd Think (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994549)

Can I have your PS3 then?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the very reason Sony is very much like big tobacco companies.

Because they know they have a dedicated legion of addicts for customers.

Don't like it? Stop playing. Haha, yeah, yeah, I know...you'll cut back next week, and you promised to not buy the game at midnight this time.

Re:Not As New As You'd Think (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994261)

Shut the fuck up about otheros. Christ, you nerds can't let anything go. Nobody used that shit anyway.

Re:Not As New As You'd Think (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996977)

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.

OtherOS was just a hack to put some computer functionality there to get around the EU game console tax.

'zero' latency wireless monitor (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994119)

The REAL hardware is a low latency encoder block in ATI's GPU, that is used to create an H264 video stream that ANY modern device downstream, including tablets, can decode. This is the same tech used for the 'tablet' controller provided with Nintendo's WiiU. Essentially, open standards (for wireless and decoding) and a special on-the-fly encode block provide the ability to have low latency wireless monitors, the very thing Intel and others FAILED to provide with a wireless HDMI solution.

For gaming, a wireless back-stream provides the inputs received by the viewing device. This is also how Nvidia's 'project SHIELD' works. There is an irony in that AMD/ATI has currently refused to enable the video encode function in the drivers used for its current 7000 series GPU parts.

MultiPLAYER? (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994197)

So it's already multiplayer when one guy plays a game and others watch?

In that case it's not that new. Even PacMan was multiplayer by that definition. Granted, mostly because we were waiting for that idiot to finally spend his last quarter so we can get a turn, but...

Re:MultiPLAYER? (1)

PartyBoy!911 (611650) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994515)

Most of the time we play single player games with multiple people. Just hand over the controller when you die or are stuck. And we always try to help the person playing.

REAL social gaming!!

Re:MultiPLAYER? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42995557)

Multiplayer was when the guys in the queue would frequently shout "No, move left! No, not that left, the other left!"

Re:MultiPLAYER? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42995735)

It's the same as quick-time events being "gameplay".

Zelda? (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994273)

I don't get it, how do you turn Zelda twilight princess into a multiplayer game?

Re:Zelda? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42995497)

Use the DVD as a Frisbee?

multiplayer fail - spectators are not players (3, Insightful)

locopuyo (1433631) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994375)

multiplayer - a mode of play involving more than one player at one time in a computer or video game
Someone needs to learn English.

Re:multiplayer fail - spectators are not players (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994563)

multiplayer - a mode of play involving more than one player at one time in a computer or video game

Someone needs to learn English.

No, sounds like someone needs to brush up on their Legalese. It's a rather odd and colorful language of money where anyone can say anything and get away with it, as long as you have enough. Like a toilet plunger, you keep it around for many of the same reasons. Shit happens.

If watching other people play games... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994443)

...is considered multiplayer can watching porn then be considered group sex?

I hope they fucking drown 'em in that shit (1)

PartyBoy!911 (611650) | about a year and a half ago | (#42994509)

Having been fan of a not internet connected PS3, I'm going to skip the PS4 and just buy myself a nice linux gaming rig.

I hope this catches on because Youtube will get stuffed with these useless video's. I wonder if google really has unlimited storage

Re:I hope they fucking drown 'em in that shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994569)

Google does have an unlimited amount of storage if you consider Sony's terrible PLM. In other words, Google's storage is finite but so is Sony's marketing department's "creativity" so Google's storage will never get full.

Retsupurae (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994577)

Webcam recording is alive and well.

Cameras are in my family. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994605)

My dad had been Cinecaming since 1968 and now I'm taking the tradition in to the Ultra High Defenition 3D future (7680x4320-3D@240FPS!). I won't be streaming games, but I will be doing trainspotting as usual, delicious trainspotting. Get ready for Train Simulator 2025 on PS5 n00bs.

People have always "streamed games" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994623)

Ever since I figured out how to connect the Nintendo 64 to the VCR and record my best lap times in Diddy Kong Racing I have been doing this shit. Now sony can fuck off into its rootkit hell.

Pong may have been multiplayer .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42994847)

Pong may have been multiplayer, but today's consoles can't handle the graphical demands of local multiplayer action.

Perhaps we can have a reissued pong which is online only? Double the game purchases, double the fun!

My favorite are the Let's Play (FTL) from Marbozir (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42995045)

That guys accent is really engaging.
I love hearing him talk about his engines being on fire as "unpleasant".
He is the best.

singleplayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42995091)

I never wanted to play multiplayer and never will.

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