Share: Ustream CEO Talks PS4, The Future of Video and the Blurring of Reality
The share button was a big change to the DualShock – was that your idea, or Sony’s?
It’s been a collaborative effort, we believe that people want to share, we believe that it needs to be simple and easy, and if you bury it within layers of menus it inevitably doesn’t get used. I think it’s a really smart move, we want people to share what they want to share, and all they have to do is click a button.
The PS4 records the last 5 minutes of gameplay… or is it 15?
You’d have to ask Sony about, but for the live piece, it’s a continual flow of live content.
Ok, let’s say it is 5 minutes. If you start streaming with that… is it live, but 5 minutes delayed?
[Shakes head] There’ll be a difference between what is live and what is recorded, you can almost think of them a separate. A live piece can be a two or three hour experience.
Moving away from Sony and onto video sharing itself – Twitter recently launched Vine, do you think that’s a good way to get people into video sharing?
Yeah, there’s a lot of innovation in this space, and mobile is clearly another way to make things simple and easy to use, and that product is a really coordinated one. This industry is growing very, very rapidly, mobile adoption and video adoption is exploding and I think the industry in general continues to grow, and I think that’s good for everyone.
Do you think that that increased sharing culture will change life and interactions? Will it change people?
[Grins] I think it already is starting to, it is already changing things. I remember when Facebook first came out, and a guy I went to highschool with had been in Mexico and had just taken a photo of the drink he was having, and his feet, and it showed up in my newsfeed as, like, two seconds ago. Again, just rewind six/seven years ago… that was mindboggling, that a guy I hadn’t even talked to in 10-15 years let me know exactly where he was, and what he was doing on a remote island in Mexico. That trend is already continuing, it’s already here. People are sharing more than ever, and I think it will be incremental, but the sharing revolution has already started.
You’ve rewound 6/7 years, fast forward 6/7 years… what do you see?
It’s tough to predict, the iPhone wasn’t even around 6/7 years ago. That being said, what we see is that there’s this inherent need for people to gather and have experiences together, a desire to have experiences around content, it’s not just about consuming, or storage, it’s not just about a bunch of funny cat videos anymore. People want experiences, just like you do in real life – you want to have an experience when you’re in your entertainment mode, and a virtual setting is no different.
I think what we’ll see around video is just that things will continue to get deeper, I think the lines between what’s reality, what’s not reality, what’s gaming and what’s not gaming, will continue to blur. I believe there will be an experience renaissance, it just happens to be in a virtual way.
So are you excited for Google Glass, which is also coming out this holiday?
Totally! Absolutely, I’ve pulled every string I’ve got to try and get one and I haven’t succeeded yet. I think it’s absolutely incredible. You see Sony, Logitech, GoPro, etc… all these guys are starting to build Ustream connected cameras, and I want to build on top of Google Glass, and I’m sure there’ll be a hundred other Google Glasses that will sprout. It’s exciting, the next six years will be just as exciting as the last six years, I’m 100% convinced of that.
And now you’re in a better position to face it.
If you look at Google Glass and iPhones etc, the hardware has been built around the camera, around sharing. With the PS4, the OS seems to have done that, but do you think developers will start changing their games? Make things more interactive, give people a reason to share.
Yeah, I think so. It’s in their interest as well, right? Get more adoption to their games and, again, I think things are going to blur. I can see a day where you’re controlling a game with your body, no controller, you’re just doing this [starts playing with invisible DualShock], that is somehow deeply ingrained with the rest of the world. Clearly, that’s coming.