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Microsoft will be adding Twitch streaming support to its Xbox One as part of an ongoing hardware revamp designed to prepare the console for the March 11 release of Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall, an Associated Press report confirms. The patch for the console’s existing app – which only supports stream spectating and clip uploads via the Xbox One’s video recording function at this time – is due to arrive the same day that the multiplayer mech shooter launches.
The expanded Twitch app achieves “complete integration,” according to Twitch co-founder and CEO Emmett Shear. “It’s exciting because we’ve never had the ability to broadcast from a console like this with such a deep level of integration. The concept of being able to join a broadcaster’s party is really cool, and it’s another step in the direction of interacting more closely with broadcasters.”
Once the update launches, users will be able to livestream their games, join in on other streams, and use Kinect voice commands to start a stream. Twitch had been pegged for Xbox One support prior to launch, just like on PlayStation 4, but only the Sony console brought out full streaming support at launch. Yusef Mehdi, Microsoft’s vice president of marketing and strategy, claims that the delayed Xbox launch for Twitch was intended to ensure a full-featured app from the outset. The PS4 version of Twitch, which was developed by Sony, is a bit more feature-limited, with users only able to spectate streams run by other PS4 consoles.
“That’s a very certain type of experience,” Mehdi said. “For us, we thought that was too limiting for what our fans would want. Our fans really want the full next-gen service, so that’s why we decided to take our time, do it right and have it come out in this fashion.”
The Twitch update is just part of Microsoft’s ongoing push to tighten up the Xbox One. The console launched in November 2013 to positive reviews, but it’s impossible to ignore the operating system’s shortcomings. Many features represent a step back from what the Xbox 360 offered, which disappointed many early adopters that expected a more seamless transition. Microsoft already launched an update this month that introduced a more robust approach to storage management on the console (in that it’s actually an option now) and a few other small items. The March update, which should roll out prior to Titanfall‘s launch, promises to greatly enhance the console’s approach to friends and party chat/play.