I’ve been using the new Xbox One screenshot feature for almost a week now, and whilst I think that the feature is pretty damn good, I’ve still uncovered one or two issues with it. So, in the spirit of an un-biased look at my console, I figured I’d discuss both the good aspects, and the slightly less good aspects, of this new feature.
You can capture some funny moments, without the need for editing a video
With the old video-capture feature, I would often record a video when I had seen something cool and then either edit that footage down to a short clip, or capture a select screenshot from that video to share online. That’s now a thing of the past! The screenshot feature is relatively simple to use and, if you’re quick enough, you can capture some really funny moments from your games. For me personally, this feature is going to save a hell of a lot of time, because I won’t be needing to make as much video content for the site. But it will also encourage more people to make their own content from their favourite games. That’s because the relative ease of use, and the fact that you don’t need to spend ages editing a video, which will mean that more people can share their content without being discouraged by the effort of doing so.
You can upload these images anywhere, with relative ease
At first, I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to save screenshots. As it goes, however, it’s pretty damn simple. The most simple way that I’ve found, so far, is to Tweet the image and then save the image to your PC, laptop, tablet or phone by following the link that is tweeted with it.
Once you’ve gone to the link, you can then right click and save the image, in their full resolution. It also means that you can then edit the images however you want. It might take a little bit longer, but you can improve the image quite substantially just by ‘popping’ the colours a bit. Obviously, the screenshots are of a high enough standard that editing them isn’t necessary – it’s just an added bonus, particularly when you have a lot of quality to play with.
You can use them as a background on your console
This probably isn’t a feature that I’ll be using, just because I love my IM PLAYIN background, but it’s definitely a feature that I like and I’m sure people will appreciate. Having the option of setting a screenshot as your background means that you have a variety of choices when it comes to personalisation. Want a particular game to feature as your Xbox One’s background, but can’t find an appropriate image online? Well now you can create your own! Not only that, but it means that the epic kill on Ryse, the distance sniper shot on Battlefield or the screamer of a volley on FIFA that adorns your Xbox One is your epic kill, shot or goal. It means that your Xbox One will truly be unique, as the likelihood is that nobody else will have the same background as you. Happy days!
They’re of an impressive quality
I think that the thing that surprised me the most about the Xbox One screenshots was the image quality. I assumed that they’d be good, but the quality of the images far exceeded my expectations. They’re clear and sharp, and when blown up, they still look great – which is particularly good when using them as a background.
Movement is not your friend
My biggest problem with screenshots on the Xbox One, for the moment at least, is that movement of any kind is pretty much guaranteed to cause blur – unless the frame-rate has dropped a little. For instance, taking a slow motion screenshot of my car flying through the air during a ‘stunt jump’ on GTA is no problem, as shown above. But if you want to capture an image of an explosion, or a player mid shot on FIFA, the likelihood is that it’s going to be crazily out of focus – as you can see below.
It’s tricky to get the timing right
Carrying on with my point from above, in a way, it’s really difficult to get the timing for a screenshot right. Whilst playing GTA, I wanted to get an image of me diving out of a car, just as I opened the door. But could I get the timing right? Hell no. I got the shot just before he leapt out, just after he leapt out and one where he was actually being run over by his own car as he rolled across the ground – sadly that one was horrendously out of focus.
It might be easier to get the timing down using the voice command on Kinect, but anyone who has used the Kinect commands to record video will know how inconsistent it can be. It’s not the end of the world when recording video, if the Kinect doesn’t hear you the first time around, because it records enough footage for you to edit out a few seconds of the clip that you don’t need. Not so with screenshots, however. If the Xbox misses the command, or you don’t hit the double tap and Y option quickly enough, the moment is gone. Sure, you can just record the footage and pull out a screenshot from there – but if you want the high quality stuff, the Xbox One screenshot feature is the way to go… provided there’s little movement. A multi-capture option would be well received here, so that you can take a flurry of shots and pic out the perfect (or least blurry) option.
It would be nice to have an edit feature in Upload
Whilst editing the images on your PC, laptop, tablet or phone is incredibly simple… assuming that you have a decent programme on the device… it would still be nice to have an edit feature in Upload. If we could add a few effects, adjust the colouring, fiddle with the contrast and maybe even throw in a few filters, I’d be a happy bunny. It’s mainly because it’s nice to touch up images – I enjoy it at least – and it would be cool to add a little pizzazz to the image before tweeting or sharing them, as it would help to make them seem a little more professional.