Call of Duty: Black Ops II is scheduled to hit store shelves next week. Specifically, Tuesday, November 13. Given that we’re only five days away from that point, you’d think that Activision would have already rolled out all the planned features for Black Ops II, no? You’d imagine that the company would want to have all of the game’s features laid out far in advance of the title’s release so that prospective buyers could use the full feature list to make a proper informed decision on how to spend their cash.
Well, that’s what we thought too, and then an email appeared in our collective Digital Trends inbox this morning revealing that Black Ops II will feature in-game live streaming, courtesy YouTube.
According to the official announcement, this “first of its kind innovation” will, as you’d expect, allow players to stream their in-game antics to YouTube, but in a nod to the popularity of online personalities and the appeal of commentary in the burgeoning eSports arena, Black Ops II will also allow players to include webcam footage and audio with their streams. Specifics on how this system is supposed to work are still missing, but we’d assume that those hoping to use the streaming technology to its utmost extent would need both a microphone and camera compatible with their Xbox 360/PlayStation 3. Further, while these streams will be available to view on any device capable of pulling up YouTube, those who have Call of Duty Elite accounts will be able to pull up far more detailed information on the match and its players while watching whichever live gunfight has caught their interest.
“With our competitive play and eSports initiatives, we wanted to deliver live streaming capabilities built right into Call of Duty: Black Ops II, because Call of Duty is not only fun and exciting to play, but we believe it will be just as exciting to watch,” states Treyarch studio head Mark Lamia. “By making the capability of live streaming as accessible as possible to our fans, straight from a player’s console without the need for any additional hardware or sophisticated setups, we are empowering our fans to share their multiplayer experiences.”
Though Activision and Treyarch are obviously excited to offer this gratis streaming option to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 users, the announcement fails to mention whether or not this functionality will also be found in the upcoming Wii U version of Black Ops II. We began to doubt this possibility when we read that a Call of Duty Elite subscription would be required to take full advantage of the YouTube streaming — Call of Duty Elite won’t support the Wii U at launch — so we contacted Activision and were told that while the company would certainly like to support the Wii U game exactly as it does the Xbox 360 and PS3 titles, that version of the game will not feature this live streaming technology at launch. Will it ever receive the streaming option? Activision’s representatives either couldn’t or wouldn’t comment.