Minecraft Nintendo Switch Cross-Platform Play Uses Xbox Live Sign In; Could Explain No PS4 Support

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nintendo Switch Minecraft users will have to sign in with Xbox Live
  • This is needed for Minecraft cross-platform play
  • It could explain Sony’s reluctance to support it

According to Mojang CEO Jonas Martensson, to use Minecraft for cross-platform play Xbox Live is required even on the Nintendo Switch. In an interview with Pressfire.no translated on popular gaming forum NeoGAF, he stated that Nintendo has agreed to this and have been “pretty pragmatic and understanding.”

“We’re tying everything together with Xbox Live. So you log in with Xbox Live…,” he trailed off, further being pressed by the website if this would include the Nintendo Switch to which he said:

“Yes. That’s pretty unique as well! But everyone that’s in on this, all the platform holders, have been pretty pragmatic and understanding of that what we’re trying to do is create a good experience for the players. We needed a good system to connect everyone, and Xbox Live is a good system.”

Later in the interview he goes on to say that Nintendo has been “very open when it comes to working together” and the process of incorporating Minecraft cross-platform play on the Nintendo Switch has been “very smooth.”

Minecraft Nintendo Switch Cross-Platform Play Uses Xbox Live Sign In; Could Explain No PS4 Support

Over the week, Sony has been on the receiving end of criticism for not supporting Minecraft’s cross-platform play functionality. This would have ensured all consoles, mobile devices, VR, and PC can all play together online. If this does require an Xbox Live account to sign in, it would add to Microsoft’s tally of daily active users, essentially driving its business forward.

Understandably, Sony wouldn’t be interested in exposing its consumers to Microsoft’s ecosystem, which could explain Sony’s Jim Ryan using a rather flawed defence that essentially harks back to Nintendo’s overprotectiveness in the 1980s and 1990s. Martensson stops short of saying this when asked, rather replying with the more diplomatically acceptable “you’d have to ask them [Sony].”

 

This isn’t the first time Sony has been unwilling to bring cross-platform play to the PS4 with football meets cars multiplayer title Rocket League not getting the nod for Xbox One versus PS4 play.

“We’ve been doing that with PS3 and PC, PS4 and PC most recently with Street Fighter 5 and Rocket League and other games. That’s nothing new for us, in terms of working with developers and publishers to allow cross-platform play between PC and PS4,” said Sony Worldwide Studios’ Shuhei Yoshida to Eurogamer at the time.

“Because PC is an open platform it’s much more straightforward,” Yoshida continued. “Connecting two different closed networks is much more complicated so we have to work with developers and publishers to understand what it is they are trying to accomplish… We also have to look at the technical aspect – and the technical aspect could be the easiest. We also have to look at policy issues and business issues as well.”

Eventually Rocket League was made playable for PS4 players to play with those on the PC and not against Xbox One owners. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft is open to a similar arrangement for Minecraft.[“Source-ndtv”]

Facebook Signs Deal With ESL to Live Stream E-Sports

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Facebook to bring over 5,550 hours of e-sports events, original content
  • It also recently announced a tie-up with Major League Baseball
  • Twitter also partnered with ESL, Dreamhack to live stream tournaments

Taking on Twitter and Amazon-owned Twitch when it comes to live-streaming sport events, Facebook has now announced a partnership with global e-sports company ESL to bring over 5,550 hours of e-sports events and other original content to its platforms.

The news came after Facebook announced a tie-up with Major League Baseball (MLB) earlier this week to live stream 20 regular season games on the social network.

Facebook Signs Deal With ESL to Live Stream E-Sports

“The move will aid Facebook in challenging Amazon-owned Twitch as well as Twitter, both of which have esports deals as part of their efforts in the live-streaming space,” technology website TechCrunch reported on Saturday.

In March, Twitter partnered with ESL and Dreamhack to live stream tournaments and other e-sports events. More than 15 events in the ESL One, Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) and DreamHack circuits will be live streamed globally on Twitter and connected devices.

In addition to all Intel Extreme Masters and ESL One tournament content, ESL will also produce live original content for Twitter, including a weekly 30-minute show featuring highlights and behind-the-scenes footage.

The social network has also updated its developer policies so that people cannot use the platform just for attention grabbing and flooding people’s news feeds with irrelevant content.

The move will explicitly forbid live videos that are “only images” (including animated images) or polls linked to largely inanimate material.

 

China Shuts Some Live Streaming Sites, Punishes Companies

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Almost half of China’s Internet users use live video streaming sites
  • The live broadcasting market was worth CNY 21 billion in 2016
  • Ministry of Culture said that it had shut down 10 hosting platforms

Chinese authorities have punished dozens of companies involved in live online broadcasting and shut down numerous hosting platforms for showing content that was pornographic, related to gambling or involved content considered superstitious and harmful to minors.

Almost half of China’s 730 million Internet users use live video streaming sites and apps, according to authorities. The live broadcasting market was worth CNY 21 billion ($3 billion or roughly Rs. 19,733 crores) in 2016, an increase of 180 percent from the year before, according to market research company iResearch.

China Shuts Some Live Streaming Sites, Punishes Companies

In its latest crackdown on the industry, the Ministry of Culture said Wednesday that it had shut down 10 hosting platforms and given administrative punishments, including fines, to 48 companies. It also said it had ordered closed more than 30,000 studios producing content. Most individuals’ studios consist of their bedroom or living room, but there are some businesses set up to provide multiple broadcast spaces.

The ministry said it had also given out punishments including unspecified fines and the confiscation of “illegal earnings” in relation to more than 30,000 broadcasts. A total of 547 people have had broadcasting contracts terminated.

 

It said a well-known platform, Huajiao, was punished for broadcasting a live show earlier this month in which the host falsely claimed she was in Beijing’s Forbidden City after closing time. The show was actually made in a studio.

Live broadcasting websites and mobile apps have offered money-making opportunities to students and others who chat, play games, dance or offer other entertainment online. The audience at home can pay them via virtual gifts, and the hosting platforms take a cut.

Authorities have in the past handed down penalties to platforms, saying they have been found broadcasting pornographic and other objectionable content. They are increasingly bringing out rules for the industry, including requiring platforms to obtain government licenses and hosts to register with their real names.

Facebook Gets 'Live Chat With Friends' and 'Live With' Features

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Live Chat With Friends is currently being tested on mobile
  • Live Chat With Friends will be made available broadly in summer
  • Live With feature was earlier available only to public figures

It is not a hidden fact that Facebook has been trying to focus on videos for quite some time and after imitating some features from the rival platforms, it seems like the company has now decided to test waters with its own new features. Facebook has introduced two new features to its Live video service in the form of ‘Live Chat With Friends’ and ‘Live With’.

While it is debatable how useful the addition of ‘Stories’ feature turned out to be, it appears that the new features can really improve the utility of Facebook Live video service substantially. First coming to Live Chat With Friends, the new feature provides users with the option to chat only with their friends while watching a live stream. Earlier, if you might remember, users could only participate in a public chat that was flooded with comments from users across the website.

If you prefer to watch live stream videos with your friends, this feature is likely to really useful to you. “You can invite friends who are already watching or other friends who you think may want to tune in. You’re able to jump back into the public conversation at any time, and you can still continue chatting with your friends via Messenger after the broadcast ends,” Facebook said in its news post.

Facebook Gets 'Live Chat With Friends' and 'Live With' Features

Live Chat With Friends is currently being tested on mobile and will be made available more broadly this summer.

Moving to the Live With feature, users will now be able to invite other users into their live videos without them being required to be in the same vicinity as them. Live With feature allows users to collectively use Facebook Live. Interestingly, users can use this feature in both portrait and landscape modes for having picture-in-picture or side-by-side layout respectively.

In order to use this feature, users simply need to select a guest from the Live Viewers section, or tap a comment from the viewer whom they want to invite. The guest will then have the option to join or reject the request. This feature can help in conducting interviews with people in remote locations and can thereby prove to be extremely useful. Live With feature was earlier made available just for public figures but has now been made available for all users and pages, as per Facebook.

Twitter for Apple TV Update Brings Support for Live 360-Degree Videos

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Update adds support for live 360-degree videos and Periscope’s Global Map
  • Twitter is the first Apple TV app to support live 360-degree video
  • Users can use the Siri remote to move around a 360-degree video

Expanding its features for big screens, Twitter has updated its Apple TV app by adding support for live 360-degree videos and Periscope’s Global Map.

The micro-blogging site launched a version of its service on Apple TV and other media player platforms last year in order to deliver its live video content on big screens.

Twitter has become the first Apple TV app to support live 360-degree video, TechCrunch reported on Wednesday.

Twitter for Apple TV Update Brings Support for Live 360-Degree Videos

Users can use the Siri remote to move around a 360-degree video to view its content from different angles.

According to Twitter, during the first quarter of 2017, there were 77 million hours of live user-generated video broadcast on Twitter.

 

Additionally, Apple TV users can explore the Periscope Global Map to find more user-generated content from around the world which also includes 360-degree live videos.

Apple TV users can avail these features by updating their Twitter app.

Separately, as 9to5Mac notes, Twitter has also rolled out new features to its iOS app that help it sync with the Apple TV. The first, is Allow this device to be discoverable on your network which lets users connect their Apple TV to their iOS device. This will allow you to view your Twitter account on your Apple TV and push desired content.

The second, Always allow this device and your Apple TV to connect automatically, will ensure that when Twitter is open on the user’s mobile network, both devices will connect automatically without being prompted.

Facebook Live to Get Closed Captions

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Publishers can now include closed captions in Facebook Live videos
  • Captions will start showing on Live broadcasts if settings are turned on
  • Live video owners can also directly message any of the viewers

In a bid to make Facebook accessible to all, the social networking giant has allowed publishers to include closed captions (one of a series of subtitles) in Facebook Live, helping people who are hearing impaired to experience live videos.

Facebook Live to Get Closed Captions

“By enabling publishers to include closed captions with their ‘Live’ broadcasts, we hope more people can now participate in the exciting moments that unfold on Live,” the company said in a blog post on Tuesday.

Now if your captioning settings are turned on, you will automatically see closed captions on Live broadcasts when they are available.

 

It is already possible to add captions to non-live videos when uploading them to Facebook Pages and publishers can use company’s speech recognition service to automatically generate captions for videos on their ‘Pages’.

To connect more people on Facebook Live, the company has announced a new feature that will let users go live with another friend for a collaborative broadcast.

Facebook also announced the ability for live-streaming users to start a direct message with one of their viewers so they can have a private chat during the broadcast.