I am surprised. I am very surprised. The franchise that has probably endured the most ridicule for the last 5 years is one of the first to take a significant step toward the next generation of gaming. Though the latest Call of Duty game didn't do much, if anything, to revolutionise the genre, it has raised the bar for all genres.
Treyarch teamed up with Twitch TV late last year to introduce a feature that allows players to broadcast their league matches live, but in January, 2013, they announced that this feature would now work for streaming all matches—and, low and behold, it does! The integration of this service into our video-games is something that every game developer should be looking into. Heck, Sony and Microsoft should be looking into making this anbuilt-in service for their new consoles. Aren't Sony adding a similar feature to the PlayStation 4? If I recall correctly, you should be able to record 5 minutes of game-play and directly upload it to YouTube (or some other service) at the press of a button. Wouldn't it be a lot better if it just gave you the option to stream directly to Twtich, own3d, or YouTube?
One thing is for sure, playing Black Ops II while there are 50, or more, people watching really ups the ante and cranks the excitement. Black Ops II even allows you to go on webcam while playing; it simply just uses either the PlayStation Eye or the Xbox Camera (depending on your console, of course). It's rather brilliant, if you ask me. Alas, it does have its flaws: split-screen broadcasting is glitchy, it doesn't stream in high definition, and you cannot chat to the people watching your stream because you cannot see the chat window (unless, of course, you have a laptop beside while you are playing).
If you think that this feature is gimmicky or irrelevant then you really haven't properly experienced this wonderful union of technology and innovation. Invite your friends over one night for some Black Ops II, grab some munchies and something to drink, and start playing and streaming live. You'll definitely have a blast (of course it is a lot more fun the more people you have watching).
It's just a damn shame that not many games, actually just one that I can think of, have this feature. I can, however, think of a bunch of games that would benefit from it: every game ever made. Imagine broadcasting your online football matches and having your mates cheer you on. The possibilities that this merger can create are endless.
Treyarch have raised the bar for next-gen standards. We've seen social media integration in games that have released over the years (Facebook sharing, YouTube video uploading, etc.), but nothing comes close to this. And, if this feature is perfected, it will certainly open the door to a bigger community that can finally be more involved in streaming without forking out 200 euros for a device that does the same thing as our gaming consoles are fully capable of.