Game DVR, or the ability to record and upload your screen's gameplay footage to streaming sites and social networks, is a fancy next-gen feature being flouted by both Microsoft and Sony for their respective upcoming consoles. Microsoft confirmed Wednesday that its recording function will be restricted to those who purchase its Xbox Live Gold membership, which is also required to stream Netflix and play online multiplayer.
This can be seen as both good and bad news depending on your current stance on Xbox Live Gold, which costs $60 annually. Microsoft has long taken heat from users who find it unnecessarily expensive to be able to enjoy all the features of a game, as well as to do something as simple as stream a Netflix account that is being paid for separately. This is especially true considering Sony's PlayStation 3 can access its games' online multiplayer free of charge.
Though if you've spent years shying away from a Gold membership because it simply didn't offer enough bang for the buck, this news might be a reason to fully fork over the $60 fee to enjoy the console's more celebrated features. Xbox Gold members will also get access to Microsoft's new SmartMatch system -- which will weed out abusive and disruptive players on top of ironing out some of the more frustrating features of online matchmaking like unbalanced teams and wait times -- and the console's TiVo-like OneGuide system for entertainment curation.
And after all, Sony has already confirmed that the PlayStation 4's online multiplayer will require the $50 annual PlayStation Plus membership, so Xbox's move here could just be the standard if Sony decides to similarly restrict its game DVR functionality.
As for the differences in the two next-gen consoles' recording feature, Sony's is currently more capable. The company clarified last month that the PS4 would be capable of continuously recording up to 15 minutes of gameplay, while the Xbox One will only record five minutes.
When asked by Game Informer's Mike Futter whether or the Xbox One would be capable of recording future footage, as in letting a player preemptively record the following five minutes instead of having to search back and select a clip, Microsoft was tight-lipped, expressing that more information will soon be revealed.