Twitch Review

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App Title: Twitch
App Type: PlayStation Vita
File Size: 51 MB
NA Availability: Digital Download
EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: Yes

Twitch is something that a lot of people use.  I use it every once in a while when I want to stream a game I’m playing on the PlayStation TV or PS4 (with a personal account).  It opens a lot of doors, regarding getting content out to people, or just doing it while you casually play games.  Some stream it and do video and audio during their playing, while others just show the game to show the game.

For non-broadcasters, though, watching streams is a big thing, and what better way to do that than through a dedicated Twitch App?  No problems dealing with the website.  Just boot up your app and go at it.  That’s what PS Vita and PSTV gamers were promised a long time ago from Twitch, themselves.  They had announced an official Twitch app for handheld gamers.

When the app finally released a couple weeks ago, I saw a lot of people thrilled for it to be there, but some who were saying how bad the app’s quality was.  So, I dove into it myself this week to find out.  Here is my review of the Twitch app!

Design

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Just like the PS4 app, but with a little more lag

If you’ve used Twitch on PS4, you know exactly what you’re in for.  The PS Vita’s app has an interface that looks just like the PS4 app’s interface.  You boot the app to the main menu and you’ve got a side-bar menu on the left, separating categories, your profile if you’re logged in, and channels you follow.

Then, the rest of it to the right are squares separated into categories, from games to recommendations, showing you a lot of content you can easily select to go into and play.  The final part is the Options menu which is triggered by tapping the Start Button.  This pulls a menu from the right side so you can see Help Topics or Log Out of your profile.

This works pretty well, since it is organized in an efficient manner that is easy to cycle through and read.  There’s also props to give regarding this because the main highlighted feed actually streams and plays live from the main menu of the app.  That’s something I’ve never seen done in a PS Vita app before.

The interface while playing a video is simple as well.  It automatically loads the stream without the interface to avoid buttons blocking your view and a simple tap of a button or the touchscreen to pull up the few options here.  This is mostly just the slider for video progress and an option to be able to favorite the video/stream you’re watching.

Performance

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Note: Screenshots cannot be taken in-app.  These were made via Capture Card

This is where I could see why some people were complaining about the app’s quality.  So, let’s begin with the menu exploration.  Like many PS Vita apps, the menu is very buggy and laggy.  I’ve had a considerable struggle in the menus on the PSTV, but on both systems, there’s a good bit of input lag when you’re moving through the menus and selecting a stream.  It wouldn’t be a lie to say I’ve had over a dozen situations in the past couple days where I would hit a button twice because the lag was so heavy it seemed like the app didn’t take my command.

Issue number 2 is video quality, itself.  When you load streams, you’ll see a lot of pixilation.  To be sure it wasn’t just the video, I pulled up my own channel and my own streams and watched them side by side on the Vita and my Surface Pro 2.  Sometimes the different isn’t huge, but it’s noticeable that you’re not getting very good video quality from the Vita app.

The final thing is crashing errors.  If you recall, I mentioned some crashing errors in my review of the 3DS YouTube app.  A similar situation happens in the Twitch Vita app.  There will be many cases where I will just be pausing a video and when I go to resume, the app gives me an error and forces me to restart it.  Not exactly the most convenient thing while watching a video and having to pause because of something happening in the real world.

Summary

The Twitch app is definitely a way you can watch Twitch streams from your PS Vita or PSTV.  However, menu lag, un-optimized video quality, and crashing errors hold this back from being your go-to app for Twitch. 

7/10

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