Microsoft’s Director of Product Planning, Albert Penello, recently clarified details concerning Xbox One’s GameDVR system. Originally, Xbox Australia Product Manager Adam Pollington stated that the Xbox One would record any Achievement that unlocks. Penello illustrated the DVR feature by explaining that’s not the case, and that they had given control to game developers.
“It’s a feature that Developers can unlock for achievements, OR, for instance, have hidden in the game for doing something cool or discovering something hidden.“
Considering Microsoft’s track record of decisions that dissatisfy the public, this one is actually incredibly smart.
First of all, by clarifying only a few days after the original statement, Penello ensured that the finer points of the Xbox One’s GameDVR were detailed quickly and efficiently, leaving no room for media or purchaser speculation. This is another notch in the ladder back to gamers’ respect since Microsoft’s famous turnaround post-E3, in regards to abolishing most of their online requirements – questions about most of their announcements or policies are met swiftly with a follow-up announcement and clarifications. Leaving no ambiguity in their newer policies is a good business move for Microsoft, developers, and gamers alike.
Secondly, Penello specifically states that developers “… can put conditions on an automatic recording.” This means that your Xbox One most likely won’t record every single Achievement, potentially eating up hardware space, but it opens up a huge range of possibilities for what developers can set to record. They can potentially only set harder Achievements to record, which means you won’t see every man and his dog on YouTube posting how they beat the first level or got an Achievement for creating a character.
Not only can they streamline the content that is recorded, thus ensuring that players earn the right to record their most epic gameplay moments, but they can also set the DVR to record gameplay that isn’t Achievement related. Imagine if finding and using the MAC cannon in Halo 4 was programmed to record, or you could automatically record share hidden easter eggs and locations in your favourite games.
Of course these are only just a few options, and game developers can use as much or as little of the GameDVR as they wish – every game can automatically record all Achievements, or none. However, the point remains that the functionality is there. In the hands of developers, the Xbox One’s automatic recording system has endless potential, much more than if Microsoft set a blanket function over every Xbox One title.
Expect to see it used creatively in the coming years, and get ready to start sharing your favourite gameplay moments – Achievement-related or not.