Budding YouTube personalities will love the latest update to Sony's PlayStation 4 system software. But even if you just like uploading the occasional video, Update 1.70 will be a big one.
The release date for the update remains nebulous — Sony says "soon" — but the company has begun showing off the new features.
The largest addition is SHAREfactory. Hopefully the tool itself — a video editor for the PS4 — turns out to be promising than that corny name would imply. Sony's promo video makes the editor look fairly simplistic: You can put clips into a simple one-track timeline, add filters and transitions, and record a secondary commentary track with picture-in-picture. It's certainly not going to produce the next great Hollywood film, and it may not be enough for the professional streamer/YouTube personality. But it's a good toolset for those with lighter demands.
More important, Sony is removing restrictions on video exporting. Videos can be shared on Facebook, but also transferred to any external USB storage, after which you can upload them to YouTube or Vimeo or Metacafe or whatever weird site you care to use.
And most important, Sony will now allow you to shut off HDCP, or high-bandwidth digital content protection. That's a form of digital rights management that disallows video content from being transferred and copied across HDMI connections. With HDCP off, you can now capture footage directly from the PS4's HDMI-Out port, allowing for longer (and presumably better quality) videos, provided you've set up an external capture solution.
There are a few smaller changes — recording shorter clips or turning off default video clip saves — but mainly we're talking three big pivots that are very friendly to YouTube personalities.
The remaining blemish on Sony's video offerings is, of course, Twitch. The PS4's Twitch ecosystem is entirely segregated from Twitch at large, and disallows archiving. Whether this changes in the future is anyone's guess, but it better if Sony wants to reach feature parity with Microsoft's Xbox One.
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