Sony's next-generation PlayStation 4 (PS4) will be released on Nov. 15 in Canada and the U.S., the company announced during a press conference at the Gamescom conference in Cologne, Germany.
Twitch.tv, the popular video game footage streaming service, will be available on the PS4 video game console when it launches. By tapping the new "share" button on the PS4 controller, users will be able to broadcast gameplay directly to Twitch.
Microsoft announced similar Twitch integration earlier this year for its upcoming Xbox One.
"We've been clear with all our partners that we love gaming and the gaming industry, and we think our reason-for-being as a company is to be the ubiquitous platform," said Emmett Shear, co-founder and CEO of Twitch. "For us, it was really important to be able to work with every platform, because Twitch is something that every gamer should have access to."
Twitch, originally part of the streaming video site Justin.tv, was spun off in 2011 and has become one of the most popular ways for gamers to share footage online. Currently, more than 600,000 broadcasters — ranging from everyday Minecraft builders to professional League of Legends players — are watched by more than 38 million viewers a month.Sony said it has 33 games available in 2013, of which 15 will be on Blu-ray. The remaining 18 will be digital downloads. The 15 Blue-ray disc titles include:
- Call of Duty: Ghosts
- Skylanders Swap Force
- Need for Speed: Rivals
- Battlefield 4
- Madden 25
- FIFA 14
- NBA Live
- Killzone: Shadow Fall
- Assassins Creed Black Flag
- Just Dance 2014
- LEGO Marvel Superheroes
Over the past two years, Twitch has transformed into an ESPN for video games. The site's live and recorded broadcasts include comically narrated clips of game footage, streamed matches from seasoned e-sports veterans and so-called "speed runs" — clips of players plowing through mostly old-school games in record time. There are also many commercials.
Shear said he expects the number of Twitch broadcasters to grow exponentially with PS4 and Xbox One integration. He also anticipates that game publishers and e-sports organizers will more readily stream content with Twitch because it won't require any additional technology, such video capture hardware, because it's all built into next-gen systems.
"If you go back to the beginning of video games and look at pictures of people in arcades, most of them aren't actively playing a game," said Shear. "They're standing there watching and waiting their turn, but they're having a good time watching. I think that type of spectating has always been and continues to be a big part of video game culture."
Sony Corp. previously announced that the PS4 would allow users to share gameplay experiences on the social networking site Facebook and video streaming service Ustream. Meanwhile, Microsoft Corp. demonstrated streaming a match from the "Killer Instinct" fighting game on Xbox One with Twitch during its Electronic Entertainment Expo presentation in June.
Following the North American launch, the PS4 will be released on Nov. 29 in Europe and Latin America.