Xbox One Has Already Lost the Battle for Twitch to PS4

Our condolences, Microsoft. We're sure there are battles you'll win, but this isn't one of them.

We already reported Playstation 4 took an early lead in streaming live gameplay to Twitch by launching first and making streaming ridiculously easy.

Now Xbox has put one last stake through the heart of any hopes they had for matching the PS4 livestreaming experience with this announcement:

They won't be offering Twitch streaming at all until 2014.

How Xbox One Handed a Win to PS4

With more than 45 million gamers viewing per month, Twitch is huge in the world of gaming. From Let's Plays to eSports tournaments, it's already shown how it can impact game exposure. The integration that next gen consoles have put in place for Twitch is testament to it's level of influence.

Given that, it's surprising to see Xbox make some key fumbles that let Playstation take the lead.

Fewer Potential Streamers:

At last check, around 60% of Xbox 360 players had Xbox Live Gold subscriptions. As of now, Twitch streaming is confined to XBL Gold members only. So only 60% of Xbox players will presumably have access to direct streaming at all. Every PS4 player has direct streaming access, putting them at a significant advantage. 

The only way they could regain even footing is for Xbox to remove the gold requirement, or for the Xbox One to outsell the PS4 but more than 40%. Both seem unlikely.

Lag Time:

The company has put out a statement saying:

"We are working to ensure the initial Twitch on Xbox One broadcasting experience meets the expectations of the Twitch community, so while this feature won’t be available right away, we’ll let you know as soon as it is ready. Our goal is to deliver it during the first part of 2014."

In the meantime, they are focusing on what they do have that Sony doesn't - the Xbox One Twitch viewing app that make it easy to watch content on Twitch as well as streaming. While it's a nice touch and there are some cool Achievement titles attached to it (Hipster, anyone?) we're not sold on this being enough to outweigh the clear lead that PS4 will have in pure Twitch content production.

And that's not all

On top of those two critical issues, there's also the fact that Xbox will have to make sharing as intuitive as scratching an itch to match the bar that PlayStation set. Time and numbers will tell if we're right, but today it seems clear that PS4 will have a decisive advantage for livestreaming to Twitch for the foreseeable future, and with that, the advantage of many more thousands of players showing off their games and platforms throughout the first few months and first holiday season of the next console generation.

Our condolences to Microsoft on this one

We're sure there are battles you'll win, but this isn't one of them.

Additional Sources: Forbes.

Special thanks to Pinnique for the tip!

Published Nov. 19th 2013
View Comments 21
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GameSkinny Comments
  • marie_5264
    I bought the Chromecast doggle and now i can stream on PS4 with Plex.
  • hdfh
    who tha FUCK cares..never done this in my life..never known a person who ever done it either..so who gives a shit.. no one got any advantage..its a shitty optional extra probably 1% use..
  • Stephen Johnston
    are you primariy a console gamer? Streaming is more common on the PC. With increased accessibility it will become more prevelant on consoles.
  • Amy White
    Former Editor in Chief
    I honestly wasn't much for streaming until we were streaming Contrast on PS4 launch day. That was the first time I understood why streaming might be appealing, even if you aren't in it to build a huge following.

    We were hanging out, people would drop in and out of the stream to ask questions about beating certain parts of the game, others stuck with us through levels pointing out things we missed and laughing when I screwed up over and over. It was honestly the closest thing I've ever experienced to 'remote couch co-op' and I loved it. I can definitely see more people using it to share game experiences with their friends, but in so doing create a lot more exposure for the games and console platforms that they are playing.
  • Shippy87
    I also heard that to use Twitch on Xbox One it is also gonna cost an EXTRA US$5
  • Mary Yeager
    Senior Intern
    That's the average cost of Xbox Gold per month when paid for a year in advance.
  • Psych_5593
    So you're saying that Playstation is going to win over Twitch simply because it won't be available day one on Xbox?


    That's like a loud-mouthed kid on the playground screaming that he won a fight because his opponent had detention.
  • Amy White
    Former Editor in Chief
    More on the order of accessibility to the audience; both the delayed start and the Xbox Live Gold requirement provide barriers. One gives PS4 a head start during the critical launch/first impression phase, the other will be an ongoing advantage for PS4 unless Xbox changes it's policy.

    That said, if you disagree I encourage you to write a response that puts forth your opinion on the matter - really. Would be a great discussion: http://www.gameskinny.com/post/edit
  • nocxis
    That is probably the worst metaphor that I have ever read in my life, and it indicates that you didn't even read the article.

    The biggest drawback is the enormous portion of the Xbox's consumer base that doesn't even have the ability to stream. On top of that, it was a feature that Microsoft advertised that isn't even available at launch; which is a significant advantage to have when you're launching a new service, regardless of what industry you're in. You don't even need to have taken an economics class to figure that one out.

    Please work on your comprehension before berating an article.
    Last edited 3 years ago
  • Psych_5593
    Paywalls suck, not going to dance around that, but the reason they exist is to provide a better experience by adding more content.

    It sucks that free-to-use apps are trapped behind the paywall, but by doing so they (Microsoft) can make Xbox Live Gold more appealing to a wider audience, which in turn provides them with the means and user pool to justify adding more features\services.

    While I agree that the PS4 being free to Twitch will boost the potential numbers in their favour, Quantity does not guarantee quality. Sure you'll have an initial burst of Twitchers from PS4 at launch, but they will subside. Xbox One will also do this when it becomes available. They too will subside.

    Only 60% of Xbox 360 owners had Xbox Live Gold, which means that the other 40% probably wanted to be left alone to enjoy their game. Typically these are not the people who Twitch.

    Twitchers tend to be more sociable and play online.

    As for the delay, that could hurt if it were a total blackout. Fortunately Microsoft have included the game DVR feature which can upload directly to Skydrive, allowing you to share your videos not only on YouTube but also on your social networking site\s of choice.
  • Psych_5593
    Dude, it was like 6 in the morning with no caffeine.

    And I did read the article.

    "The biggest drawback is the enormous portion of the Xbox's consumer base that doesn't even have the ability to stream."

    An even larger portion will not use the feature entirely.

    "On top of that, it was a feature that Microsoft advertised that isn't even available at launch"

    Chill out, it's delayed not scrapped.
  • Ryan Kerns
    Featured Columnist
    to be fair both consoles have written quite a few checks that won't be cashed until next year like backwards compatibility... streaming PS4 games on Vita... and saying games that aren't coming out until March still count in your "launch window".
  • Psych_5593
    Agreed, launch means launch, not 5 months in.
  • Ryan Kerns
    Featured Columnist
    Uh oh spagetti-o's. If you're going to focus on making a multimedia box over a game console.... kinda helps to have those multimedia functions work.
  • JohnHeatz
    Featured Correspondent
    Definitely, Microsoft keeps doing everything the wrong way...Their multimedia console looks appealing...to US users....but that's about it...and while it is understandable that they want to provide the best quality "functions/features" with their console, didn't they have 6 years to develop them?
  • Proto Foe
    Senior Intern
    I wasn't best pleased when I first heard this news, even though I have a HD PVR 2, I was really looking forward to "Xbox. Share with Twitch" or whatever the command will be....

    Sony already had one hand on the streaming trophy, at least for now, with free access to streaming.
  • Mary Yeager
    Senior Intern
    is the HD PVR 2 worth the money spent?
  • Proto Foe
    Senior Intern
    Very much so :) More so with the new beta software they released, it allows the use of external mics, audio balancing etc
  • Mary Yeager
    Senior Intern
    Thanks. might have to look into that.
  • Proto Foe
    Senior Intern
    My friend purchased one recently, he is having a real blast with it :) It syncs with Xsplit nicely, plus the built in streaming to YouTube and Twitch is a great feature.
  • Mary Yeager
    Senior Intern

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