Call of Duty: Black Ops 2’s live streaming functionality will be compatible with console versions of the game, Treyarch has confirmed.
Last Monday saw demonstrations of COD:BLOPS 2’s live streaming on iPads running live in-game browsers.
While many speculated the feature would be exclusive to PC versions of the shooter, design director David Vonderhaar has since revealed otherwise. The live-stream functionality will be an option for those with Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 versions of the title. It even seems the demonstration shown last Monday was in fact showing a game being played on the Xbox 360.
"We demoed it for you on an Xbox 360 and it works on a PS3 as well," said Vonderhaar, before explaining that live streaming is League Play only. League Play is the new online feature that sorts players into competitive matches based on skill level and divisions.
While many fans have been welcoming of a feature that benefits the eSports community massively, there has been doubt that games on consoles will be unaffected considering the extra resource use. Vonderhaar has been quick to dismiss these worries, explaining that any limitations will strictly be as a result of bandwidth limitations.
"It doesn't have a lot of negative at all right now," he said. "This is why it has to be in League Play, because the League Play networking is set up for it.
"Look, you can't catch me saying never, because there's one thing I don't have in our control, and that's your bandwidth. If I said to you, no, it's never going to have any performance implications and then you don't have enough bandwidth to actually upstream, that wouldn't be a fair thing to say.
"But it's not having any game impact. That's a really important part, and that's measurable, and we know that.
"For an average gamer, he doesn't necessarily understand and know the difference between when the game is performing well because of the game or because of something on the networking side. It's a rough thing to square up for people. So I say, we live stream all the time. We're testing and we're evaluating the performance on the game all the time. It's not having a negative impact on the game. But we also have lots of bandwidth."
COD BLOPS 2 seems to be setting its sights squarely on the eSports market, and why not? It’s perfectly placed to do so and certainly has a crowd obsessive enough to warrant the attention. There’s a lot of talk of something called Twitch.tv, which we’re expecting to be a center for live streaming, as well as League Play and CODcasting, an interface built to equip shoutcasters with some nifty show-improving tools.
"I want to make something for everybody and for the masses. That's what I'm interested in," Vonderhaar said.
"Call of Duty actually has a pretty healthy and vibrant eSports community. The MLG [Major League Gaming] and the EGL [European Gaming League] are two pretty big leagues. We were told very specifically by MLG that Call of Duty is the most played game on Game Battles, which is their own thing. So we know there's a vibrant community here.
"But I also know that as an express percentage of the population of Call of Duty players, it's pretty small. So imagine we already have something that's pretty big, and then give it to everyone else and bring everybody along with it.
"I want everyone to see what we saw when we saw Call of Duty played at the national level and the competition level. We took a bunch of guys from Treyarch down to one of these events, main stage, big monitor, guys on stage, crowd, really amazing stuff.
"Now if you're an eSports guys you know all about this already. If you're a League of Legends guy or a StarCraft guy and you're into that you know about this stuff. But there are so many people who don't know. And it was an epic moment that everyone needs to know about. That's what I want to do and what Treyarch wants to do with this feature."