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Next PS4 update will expand video capture and screenshot sharing options

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

The next PlayStation 4 update will allow users to save screenshots and video clips to a USB drive, and will support HDMI video capture to a separate device by introducing an HDCP off option, Sony announced today. Future updates will improve the Twitch streaming services offered by the console as well.

Sony had promised an HDCP off option would arrive sometime after the console's launch last November. Because the PS4 only outputs to HDMI, the presence of HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) digital rights management means PS4 users could only capture video using the share button on the PS4 controller and then uploading it to social media, or by streaming a session over Twitch.

This wasn't an issue on the PlayStation 3, because that console could output to component cables with HDCP in place, and that signal could be captured on an external device.

Additionally, the update will add a video editor allowing users to further personalize their clips. The ability to save clips and screenshots to a USB device also will be done through the Share button on the PS4 controller. So far, the Share button outputs to a user's Twitter feed, Facebook account, or Twitch or Ustream channel.

Sony said other features would be incorporated with the next system update, and added that a future system update would add the ability for users to archive their Twitch broadcasts, another long-awaited feature. These broadcasts also will output at a higher resolution of 720p.

"Next-gen consoles will be in market for the better part of a decade and our partners in this space are clearly angling for long-term growth and sustainability," said Matthew DiPietro, vice president of marketing for Twitch. "Twitch is a front-and-center feature on both consoles, so you can expect a lengthy roadmap of broadcasting and viewing refinements and new functions. These are still the very early days, and the Twitch footprint on next-gen consoles will get better and better."

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