The arrival of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One brought a new way to share gaming experiences, one that has helped explode the streaming market. Previously only available to the elite, now anyone can stream, using pretty much any device.
The new consoles added apps that allowed the user to live stream their game directly to the Internet for others to enjoy. But now this activity is not just limited to the latest consoles or needs to be done live. If you’ve got an old Xbox or PS3 no problem, you can create video from them too.
Got a rare PlayStation TV? You can stream Vita games from it, in fact, any console or gadget with an HDMI out, or way of converting the old TV signal to HDMI, and you can stream from that to services like YouTube and Twitch. Not only does this social sharing help show off your gaming skills but it allows experts in games to demonstrate hints and tips that mere mortals struggle to pull off.
Many people have built-up sizable followings, with fans tuning in to watch regular events, live streams of new games or even 24-hour charity marathons of games-done-quick or the playing of very rare titles that few get to see.
Some go on to earn sizable incomes from ad revenue and deals with publishers, as gamers become the main way that fans find out about new events and titles, rather than relying on old media and gaming websites. Many streamers and among the top influencers for gaming, showing just how quickly this has become a big business.
Capture Card Essentials
For most of us though, this is about having fun and reaching out to people and sharing our gaming experiences with them. To capture video from a console, you can either share directly using the in-built apps. Or, the way to make a better-looking TV-style like show out of it is to use a capture card. These can help create your own video streams that can be edited and mixed, have overlays added and other features for a more professional presentation.
Working with easy-to-use editing software, gamers can create epic shows full of humor, intense action, all while sharing their love for gaming or their prowess at first-person shooters, epic online games, adventures or strategy/tactics battles games. Whatever game you love to play, there’s a huge audience online, ready to watch.
One of the big advantages of a capture card is that if your broadband speed isn’t stable enough for regular live streaming, then you can capture the video, edit it, and upload at whatever speed is available, without annoying your fans through constant dropouts.
With online streaming growing in popularity and massive gaming contests around the world generating millions of followers as the best players on the planet battle it out in fighting games, strategy war games and first-person shooters to see who’s best and earn big bucks, the trend will only grow.
Down of the Ancients (DotA) is one of the biggest tournament games in the world with prizes often reaching millions of dollars. But for most of us, just having a few friends tune in and growing an audience of fans into the same stuff that you are is a good starting point.
Building Your Own Channel
With a capture card in place and the right software that you’ve experimented with to get used to creating a decent show, all you need is to choose the right game and get playing.
You are more likely to grow a bigger audience, faster if you play a modern game like Star Wars Battlefront II or Call of Duty WWII, but the audience for these games is huge but fleeting. Instead, you might want to pick an older game or a rarer old console where you will find a smaller but more loyal and appreciative audience.
Retro gaming is a huge streaming market, and people love to find new tricks and tips that they didn’t know about games that are decades old. Similarly, previous generation consoles and the cooler games for them still have huge armies of fans who don’t quite want to move on just yet, appealing to this audience is an easy way to win friends.
But, if you must stick with the current generation, then at least try and make your show look or feel a little different from the many that are out there. Do a little research, think of a way to make your presentation look unique or just go with your natural charm and ability to win an audience.
Whatever you do, be genuine, the easiest way to fail as a streamer or presenter is to be found out as being a faker or disingenuous. And with the online world, someone will always find out. Many big names have already fallen from grace, so do it from the heart and you should find a growing army of fans.
Streaming or making shows don’t just have to be about video games, people are also streaming themselves playing board games, reviewing books or movies and there is so much that people can do to get themselves known online. If are struggling for inspiration then the recent TwitchCon events show the many ways that people can develop and build great shows.
Whatever your ambition, investing in a capture card, better broadband or the latest games consoles can bring you to the attention of the world. Streaming is also what millions of kids want to do as and when they grow up, so giving them the best creative tools to enjoy that would also make it a good family investment.
It might not make you much or any money, but being part of the streaming, vlogging or home-made show generation is definitely a skill that people will be able to use their advantage as the world changes to an all-digital affair.