Streaming with a Twitch Account from Xbox One X or PlayStation 4 - dummies

Streaming with a Twitch Account from Xbox One X or PlayStation 4

By Tee Morris

You can’t stream without a Twitch account, however, even if you got the Twitch account, you aren’t streaming yet. You’re going to need a stream machine to make the magic happen from, so exactly what is the plan? What platform are you planning to stream from?

This, depending on what kind of investment and what kind of streamer you want to be, will be your first major chunk of change you are about to drop. No, it’s not as monumental as buying a house or a car, but it is a decision that will put you on a path. Before running out and buying up the first console that’s on sale at your local GameStop, you will want to consider the following criteria concerning your streaming setup:

  • What’s your budget? You want the most affordable studio gear that will help you create the stream you want to create. In many cases, especially with cheap headsets and discount computer gear, you get what you pay for in quality of construction and range of capabilities; but a budget matters. Find out what you can afford and if it will help you accomplish what you want to do in streaming.
  • What platform do you want for your games? There are three popular platforms for you to choose from: Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox, and the Personal Computer. There are other platforms out there that people are streaming, ranging from mobile devices to the Nintendo Switch, but the Big Three are the PS4 (including the Pro), Xbox One (including the X), and the PC. If you know you have friends on one particular platform, that may decide where you go. Weigh the pros and cons of all three, and then choose wisely.

There may be a temptation for you to go all in, maximize your potential audience interaction, and invest in multiple platforms. Some streamers like the bearded wonder from Wales, The Bonj \or the always effervescent Tiddlywinks, to start their week on the PlayStation, then play on the PC midway though, and enter the weekend playing on an Xbox. Keep in mind, both Bonj and Tiddly are streamers who have the time and the talent to go from one platform to another without little to no effort. If you are not that confident in your skills on a certain platform, don’t make an investment into multiple platforms unless you are unquestionably savage on all of them. Stick with where you are most comfortable.

Speaking of comfort …

  • Where are you planning to stream? This may not seem to be a big deal, but an important one nonetheless. Where is this stream actually going to happen? From the couch (as in the figure)? Sure, not a problem (so long as you are able to give yourself proper support). Will it be in a proper office or studio? That works, too. Wherever you decide to stream from, remember you can always relocate (with some effort) your setup. Just be aware of what is around you, especially if you are streaming with a video camera. What are you revealing about you and your house? Is your setup tidy or a complete train wreck? Is your environment inherently loud or noisy? Are you okay with that? Find where you think will be the best place for your stream and then stake your claim. This is where you are going to get your game on!
twitch-streaming-from-couch
For some beginning streamers, the show begins on the couch.

The easiest way to get streaming is to simply go into the console and start streaming. It is not out of the ordinary for streamers to dive deep into their consoles and find the options for streaming.

Take a closer look at those two leading consoles and how to get them set up and ready for streaming.

PlayStation 4

First introduced to the world at the end of 1994 (just in time for Christmas, kids) the Sony PlayStation is one of the leading console gaming systems in the world. In 2006, Sony launched the PlayStation Network (PSN), an online network of gamers looking for and establishing online communities around different games, and of consumers looking for new digital media. The idea of PSN was to encourage multiplayer gaming on the platform. Since its launch over a decade ago, over 110 million users have been registered in the network with over 70 million users actively raiding tombs, traversing the underworld, conquering outer space, and earning the coveted “Play of the Game” title.

Along with a PlayStation console, you will also need a PlayStation account established. This grants you access to the PlayStation network (as seen here) and is free. PlayStation Plus is a premium service, providing access to exclusive content, complimentary games, discounts on games, and early access to highly anticipated releases. PlayStation Plus also grants you the ability to chat with other PSN members. PlayStation Plus’ counterpart on Xbox is called Xbox Live. On the PC, there are a variety of online networks like this, but arguably BattleNet (http://battle.net) from Blizzard Entertainment (http://blizzard.com) remains the most popular. The network is tied into many games developed by Blizzard and other game developers. Whichever platform you game on, these accounts should be active and running before you start streaming.

twitch-playstation
The Sony PlayStation Network, your one-stop shop for online media.

Once you get your PlayStation out of its box, a few other cables, accessories, and details should be on hand:

  • LAN Cable. This is something of a running joke on my podcast, Happy Hour from the Tower as my upgrade from a PS4 to a PSPro called for that which I didn’t have. Now, at random points of the show I will ask, “Do you need a LAN cable? Willa LAN cable fix that? Because I have a LAN cable!” A LAN cable is a direct, hard wire connection between consoles, or between your console and the Internet. If you are transferring data from one PSN to another, you will want this on hand. If not, it is still a good idea to have one on hand in case you decide to go with a hard wire connection to your Internet as direct connections to one’s modem provides faster internet speeds, important in getting better resolution and framerates for your stream.
  • HDMI Cable. The HDMI cable provides connection between your console and your monitor. This connection is all you need for high-quality audio and video. While you may have a cable included with your PSN, depending on your studio setup, the complimentary HDMI cable may not be long enough to reach your console. Check the length of the cable and see if it fits your need.
  • Internet Access. I don’t just refer to a laptop that’s connected to the Internet in case the enclosed documentation is not coming through for you. I’m also referring to your network name and password. You will need to get your console on to your network once it is all up and running.

With your patience checking your expectations and excitement at the door, it is all now a matter of setting up your PlayStation.

  1. Power down all your equipment.
    If you are setting up your PlayStation as part of an entertainment or gaming center, you are going to want to make sure to avoid any sudden power surges. Check to see that all electronics are turned off.
  2. Look on the back of you PS4 for the HDMI port near the top-left. Go on and plug your HDMI cable into that port.
  3. Take the other end of your HDMI cable and plug it into an available HDMI port of your display device.
    Your display can range from anything to a computer monitor to a flat screen television to a wall-mounted wide screen. It all depends on the kind of studio you are making.
  4. Plug the power cable into the AC IN port located to the lower-left of the PS4.
  5. Plug the power cable into any electrical outlet.
  6. If you are intending to connect to the Internet through a hard-wire connection, plug the LAN cable into the port just right of the HDMI cable.
  7. Plug the other end of the LAN cable into an available port on your router.

    When it comes to streaming and the best quality stream, a direct connection between console and Internet is best.

  8. Connect the DualShock 4 controller to one of the available USB ports located at the front of your PS4.
    Your PS4 should come with at least one controller and a USB cable that will charge up your controller. Use this as a hard connection to your console.
  9. Turn your monitor on and press the PS button (the button with the PSN logo) to turn on your PS4.
    A single beep should sound, and then the PS4 should have a blue light appear across its face. The light will slowly pulse and turn white. You should see an introduction screen appear on your monitor.
  10. Press the X button and follow the initial set-up steps on your screen, which should include
  • Selecting your language
  • Setting up your Internet Connection (Ethernet or Wireless)
  • Set your current date and time
  • Read and accept your User Agreement
  • Sign into PlayStation Plus (if you have setup an account)

And that’s it! You’re ready to “git gud” on the PSN!

Xbox One X

Microsoft, on seeing the success of console gaming, entered the industry with their own offering: the Xbox. Running a 733 MHz Intel Pentium III processor and the first console to feature a built-in hard disk, Microsoft’s Xbox would make itself a force to be recognized in gaming. Currently, we have the Xbox One X, which you can see in this figure.

twitch-xbox-one-x
The Xbox One X, the latest console model from Microsoft

In November 2002, Microsoft launched Xbox Live, an online gaming service similar to PSN. Xbox Live granted subscribers access to new content and connect other players online. Coming to fruition four years before PSN, Xbox Live and Microsoft were early adopters of the online gaming movement, and the Xbox continues to be a major player in the gaming community with popular franchises like Halo and Gears of War. So let’s go on and set ourselves up with an Xbox One X.

  1. Power down all your equipment.
    If you are setting up your Xbox as part of an entertainment or gaming center, you are going to want to make sure to avoid any sudden power surges. Check to see that all electronics are turned off.
  2. Look on the back of you Xbox for the HDMI port labeled specifically for the TV. (It should be the left of the two available HDMI ports.) Go on and plug your HDMI cable into that port.
  3. Take the other end of your HDMI cable and plug it into an available HDMI port of your display device.
    Your display can range from anything to a computer monitor to a flat screen television to a wall-mounted wide screen. It all depends on the kind of studio you are making, but take a look at the side bar above about the up’s and down’s of using a widescreen home theatre to stream from.

    Microsoft recommends an HDMI Premium Certified Cable if the provided cable is not an adequate length. If you need a cable longer than 50 feet, find a cable that is Active High-Speed HDMI Cable certified.

  4. Plug the power cable into the AC IN port, the farthest left of connection ports.
  5. Plug the power cable into any electrical outlet.
  6. If you are intending to connect to the Internet through a hard-wire connection, plug the LAN cable into the port to the far right.
  7. Plug the other end of the LAN cable into an available port on your router.

    When it comes to streaming and the best quality stream, a direct connection between console and Internet is best.

  8. Turn your monitor on and press the Xbox button (the button with the Xbox logo) to turn on your Xbox.
  9. Press the A button and then follow the initial set-up steps on your screen, which should include:
  • Selecting your language and language variety (Is it “color” or “colour” where you are from?)
  • Setting up your display settings
  • Setting up your Internet Connection (Ethernet or Wireless)
  • Setting up your location
  • Updating your console’s system software, if necessary
  • Setting up your Xbox Live account (and note the “Branding” callout in Chapter One)
  • Read and accept your Privacy and Account Settings
  • Set your current date and time
  • Set your Power Preferences
  • Set your Updates preferences
  • Sign into your Xbox One X

Now that you have gone through this detailed setup of your Xbox, you are all set and ready to game. Good luck and game on!