Firmware Updates and Portable Green Screens


This is what streams are made of

The plateau of gaming is caked heavily with streamed content these days. Accessibility of the medium has allowed anyone with a shred of personality, or indeed a dislike towards anyone that isn’t a straight white male, to take to various platforms and become modern-day stars. So called YouTubers are considered the pinnacle of human evolution and most of those within the gaming tribe started by streaming games. Of course, streaming games isn’t only for people to share their out of date ideals. In fact, normal, decent folk also stream games. Such is the beauty of the openness of streaming tech.

Streaming is for this generation of consoles as HD was for the previous. Both major consoles (sorry Ninty) have streaming capabilities ingrained into their very core. That means console owners can now enjoy the spoils of game streaming without the need of a PC. Microsoft recently released a brand-new platform – Beam – which was then swiftly rebranded to Mixer. Mixer is an attempt to dethrone Twitch, the current champion and forefather for the streaming community. Mixer is currently tied to the Xbox Family but does add an element of something new to the scene. Within Mixer, viewers can interact with supported games, shaping the way that they play out or adding obstacles for the player. Support for this viewer fiddling was rife during Microsoft’s E3 conference earlier this year which further adds to concretion of streaming as a means of entertainment. It also features multi-stream synching so up to four players can stream in unison.

Of course, streaming’s popularity cannot be attributed to Microsoft’s bombastic entrance into the scene. The success is solely down to the OG of streaming – Twitch. Twitch was the original streaming platform and is still the most popular today. It’s quite fitting, then, that a Twitch app is also included on both major consoles (sorry again, Ninty). The beauty of Twitch? It brought together player and viewer enabling a conversation between the two which was completely unique for its time. As with everything, this isn’t without its problems (see paragraph 1) but this player viewer interaction sparked excitement in gamers, and non-gamers, minds, creating arguably the biggest rift in the gaming landscape to date.

So, yeah. Streaming is a thing that’s big. One other thing that’s also ever-increasing in size is the resolution in which we want to play/view games. Gone are the days of huddling around a 15″ CRT to partake in a 4-player split-screen deathmatch. Instead, we now have TV’s the size of houses (rough approximation) and resolutions so resolved that I can’t think of anything to compare it too. I also don’t even think resolved is the correct word usage here /internal_monologue. It will come as no surprise, then, that PlayStation is enabling 1080p/60fps streaming on Twitch as part of their next Firmware update.

Sony has yet to officially announce the update but the cheeky scamps at Eurogamer have managed to get their hands on the release notes for said update. This update is set to include the aforementioned 1080p/60fps Twitch streaming amongst a bunch of other bits and pieces. This new feature will take advantage of PlayStation 4 Pro’s hardened internals meaning that us mere baseline PlayStation 4 owning mortals won’t benefit from the change. Obviously streaming at higher resolution and framerate is a demanding task so it makes sense that this new feature is exclusive to the PlayStation 4 Pro. It’s also a little-added incentive, should it be needed, for someone to upgrade to the Pro. In fact, it may even leave the regular PlayStation 4 owners green with envy. Speaking of which.

Elgato has opened up pre-orders for a collapsible green screen or, if being technical, A Collapsible Chroma Key Panel. The green screen is for those that want to step it up a gear allowing streamers to fully customise their backdrop rather than showcasing a pile of unwashed laundry. Green screens can be done on the cheap but the new Elgato one is the full package. Clocking in at just under £140 the green screen can extend and collapse with ease. It’s incredibly portable too so you won’t be tied to one position. And it can be safely tucked under your bed when not being used. Don’t believe me?

Sarcastic utterance and ribbing aside now is the perfect time to finally get out there and stream games at a professional level. Whether you’re rocking a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One you’re already set to get out there and start streaming games without the need of a PC. PlayStation 4 owners get the slight upper hand as the PlayStation Camera offers chroma key support. That’s right PS4 + PS Camera + Green Screen = Force to be Reckoned With. PC gamers will, of course, be sat there in their Ivory Towers besmirching the thought of console gamers jumping in on game streaming but such is the way of life for superior beings.

As an aside – This was meant to be a news story about the Elgato Green Screen and the latest PS4 Firmware update but it has transformed into this car crash of a “feature”. With that in mind, please don’t get all uppity about this being “stealth” advertisement.

If you’d like to find out more information about the Elgato Green Screen, and why wouldn’t you, check out their site here:

Dad. Designer. Web Developer.


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