I’ll go on record and say that I did not buy a PS4 with the intention of streaming to Twitch. However, Sony and Twitch have made the ability to stream to Twitch a breeze, so I figured I might as well give it a try. (Note PS4 also allows streaming to USTREAM) Why stream from PS4? Because I can and provides more entertainment playing a game with other people watching and chatting about it than just playing it alone. I will warn you that just because you stream to Twitch, it does not guarantee a large viewership right away, but it will grow the more you stream and the more you interact with the Twitch community.
One advantage I would say comes from streaming on the PS4 is that some games are still console only games and some that are ps4 exclusive. A disadvantage is that there are a lot of games that won’t be on PS4, but if you normally play games on console then you won’t miss them.
What you need:
- Twitch account
- PlayStation Plus
- Active in a well-developed Twitch community
- Social Media account (Twitter/Facebook)
- PS Camera
I would suggest you set up your free account at Twitch first, so that later you can enter the details when setting up the PS4 to stream. In your settings on Twitch, I highly recommend turning on the saving your streams as archives. Go to settings, click on “Channel & Videos”, and then scroll down to “Archive Broadcasts” and make sure the box is checked. Thanks to a recent update to the PS4, Twitch can now save your streams in an archive like PC users. This means you can also create highlights, which in turn helps bring credibility to the notion of streaming from a PS4.
After you have Twitch set up, it’s time to get the settings on the PS4 set up. When you turn on the PS4, hit the “Share” button on the controller to the left of the touch pad. It will bring up the “Share Settings” menu. It will say “Upload video clip” and “Upload screenshot”. However, you need to hit the options button on the controller to the left of the touch pad and on the side menu go to the “Share Settings” and hit the x button. On the menu, make sure that Standard is showing for the “SHARE Button Control Type”. Move to, and choose “Broadcast Settings” and then choose “Advanced Settings”.
If you have a PS Camera and want to use it check the box next to include video from PlayStation Camera in Broadcast (These can also be chosen at the start of a stream). Likewise, check the box next to include microphone audio in broadcast if you want. The display comments on screen choice will actually reserve a space on the screen for chat so you can read it while streaming if you choose just know that it will take up screen real estate (I prefer having a browser on my computer open as I like my screen to be filled with the game).
Go back twice to get back to the Share Settings and click “Link with other services” and go down and click on Twitch. It will take you to another screen and click x again to open a different screen and input your Twitch username and password and it will save your account information. You are now ready to start streaming!
The Optional and/or Suggested items
The items that I mentioned as optional and/or suggested help the quality of your stream. I highly suggest being active in a community that has already been established on Twitch. The main reason is that starting your stream from the bottom, you will grow a lot slower than if you are interactive with an established community. If you are active, you can tell a few close people in the community and they can tell their friends and grow your channel a lot faster.Social media is also a good means of spreading news about your stream, which we’ll look at how to share it from the PS4 in the next section.
A new PS4 comes with a cheap headset which will help interact with chat while you game instead of either remaining silent or trying to play and type. There are many other options for headsets if you desire something other than the one that comes with the PS4. I have PS Camera in the optional category as I do not use one myself, however if you want, the stream can include your face in the stream.
PlayStation Plus is a good investment in my eyes in that every month you will get a free game. Now, while most of the games on PS Plus for PS4 right now are indie games, they are still free and as more games for PS4 come out, the better the games will be. Free games can still be fun to stream and can bring variety to the content you provide. Not only do you get a free game for PS4, but you also get discounts on other games as well.
When you are ready to start streaming, it is important to make sure if you have a headset, to plug it into the PS4 controller, and if you have the PS Camera to have it on and facing you. Before you can start sending the broadcast to Twitch, you have to start whatever game you will be playing first (When you exit a game, the broadcasting stops and you are required to go through these steps to start up the stream again). The game normally must have to start up and be playing for about 20 seconds or so to bring up the share menu. After you start a game and wait about 20 seconds, hit the “share” button on the controller. You just need to press it, and it will bring up a menu where you can do 1 of 3 things: “Upload Video Clip”, “Upload Screenshot”, and “Broadcast Gameplay”. We want to broadcast, so select “Broadcast Gameplay” and hit the x button.
On the Streaming service selection screen select Twitch and hit the x button. This will bring up a screen for settings on the broadcast and other details. You can see the settings you set up earlier as far as PlayStation Camera, Microphone Audio, and Display comments on screen. You can set a Title for the Broadcast, however I prefer to set the title in my Twitch dashboard because Sony allows fewer characters in the title than Twitch allows. Quality options are a bit tricky and you will want to play with the quality options before you start streaming. Start with a quality you think will be too much and watch it on your Twitch dashboard for buffering or any loss of quality. If it is too much go down and keep trying to make sure you broadcast at the best setting you can (Your viewers will thank you!).
If you don’t see social settings either scroll up or down until you do, sometimes they can be hidden from view. Here, you can have the PS4 send out a tweet on Twitter and/or a status on Facebook. I recommend using a short description with 2 hash tags (#): one for the name of the game, and one for PS4, so something like this: “Come watch me play! #InterestingGame #PS4”. This way people will be able to see the name of the game you are playing and on what system (PlayStation will add your Twitch channel link at the end of your tweet/status).
The final step in starting the stream: Start Broadcasting!
Dewguzzler is currently streaming Summer of Games, where he streams 4-7 hours a day on Twitch solely from his PS4. You can join him by visiting his stream where he will answer questions about the current game or twitch streaming questions.