This morning, I woke up inspired. “Alright,” I said to myself. “That’s it. It’s time. I’m giving the people what they want, and it starts today! Today, I say! No more capturing games from the PS4 itself! No! I’m gonna use that capture card we’ve had for a while now, and I’m gonna do it direct with OBS, and everything’s gonna work, and everyone will be so happy, and then I’ll get little sounds and/or animations set up for follows and tips, and then everyone’s gonna be even happier, and it’s all going to zoom into an endless spiral of happiness and joy!” That, ladies and gents, is what I thought. I was mentally ready. I thought I was completely prepared. But then, tragedy struck in the form of a hardware and software limitation of the PS4. A tragedy so profound, so shocking, that I have yet to recover from it. You must understand, the process of swiveling a mind from inspiration, all the way around to begrudging acceptance is a long one. I’m still on that swivel. Nevertheless, I wanted to talk about this in a blog, because when it all comes down to it, this particular limitation is kind of ridiculous and, just perhaps, may have even been intentional. Let’s deep dive, shall we?
When I play video games, I use the Playstation 4 Platinum Wireless Headset. Why wouldn’t I? There’s a whole blog about it on my site, but in summary, it is not only the best wireless surround sound solution I have ever encountered, it supports 3D audio in some games. I’ve thought about picking up the recent MLB games, for instance, specifically because of this 3D audio support. It is, in short, an amazing headset. Really, I genuinely mean that. I love it!
There’s just one teeny tiny little eensie weensie insignificant problem. If you use the Playstation 4 Platinum Wireless Headset, you cannot capture game audio using a capture card. Yep, no game audio at all. I’ve looked into it, there’s really no way. Bummer, huh? That alone was enough to shatter my plans for today into thousands of very small, but very well-crafted sound waves. And make no mistake, these were plans for today, and for my entire future as a streamer. So yeah, it was a blow.
Now don’t you worry. My commitment to my audience is as strong as ever. I still intend to switch to a capture card eventually, but it’s going to require some astonishing changes that I cannot currently afford to make. My research, and questioning of other streamers I know, reveals that I will need a completely different headset for this. One that does not rely on wireless via USB, but rather uses the PS4’s optical port. These headsets, especially the quality ones, are rather expensive, as I’m sure you can imagine. I won’t go into the technical details, but suffice it to say that I know what I need, and cannot yet get it.
The striking thing to me, though, and the reason I’m writing this blog, is the way the PS4 works. When you hook up a headset via USB, (which the platinum technically is as it uses a wireless USB dongle), the PS4 basically says, “OK then. This is the one and only audio source, and HDMI no longer matters. Bwahahahahaha!” This means a capture card, which connects to the PS4 via HDMI, cannot receive the audio, as it’s not even being transmitted that way anymore. The reason this struck me, though, is what this means for platinum headset users. It means that the only way, literally the only way, to capture game audio is to capture directly from the PS4. Only then will its video and audio streams be sent somewhere else along with your headset. As much as I love the headset, I see now what a trap this is.
The ability to capture from the PS4 is limited. You have, for instance, no control over game audio levels. Secondly, you cannot do some of the more fancy things streamers do today, greeting new followers, cheerers, and tippers with a cute little sound and/or animation. It is a set, controlled capturing environment, and it will always be that way. However, if you want that wireless surround sound, and especially if you want that 3D audio in the games which support it, you’ll just stick with it, right? Well, as of today, my answer is no.
More than I can’t afford the headset I’ll need to make this work, I cannot afford to compromise the integrity of my stream. I cannot afford to limit my potential. That, sadly, is exactly what the Platinum does. It hosts wonderful features that I love, but it keeps me where my PS4 puts me in terms of stream quality, and that’s not enough anymore. So my commitment to you, the reader and, hopefully, the viewer, is that I will get this sorted as soon as I can. I will do what I must do to bring you the stream quality you all want. It simply cannot happen right now, but it’s coming. I appreciate you guys, and I want you to know it. Thanks for supporting, and as always, thanks for reading. Continue to be awesome!