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UPDATE 28 JANUARY, 2019, 6:44 PM (PST)
Twitter user @HillardHouseDan referred me to a gamefaqs post at that has a work-around for this issue. That post claims that disabling HDR (High Dynamic Range) in the PS4's video settings will allow you to stream and capture Resident Evil 2 footage. Commentor Jon had also posted the same work-around just as I was loading up RE2 to test it. So thanks readers!

I had actually come across this post last night, but had dismissed it because it was specifically about "Share Play" and not about streaming. I have been streaming Red Dead Redemption II for two months with HDR enabled without any problem, so it didn't even occur to me to test that setting.

Besides, the message was telling me that the scene was "blocked", so I had assumed that Capcom had blocked it as a "spoiler" section. Games in the past have done this for screens in which players enter email accounts, passwords, credit card numbers, or other sensitive information (which is the only acceptable use of blocking share functionality!). But Atlus had also recently blocked streaming of Persona 5 in order to prevent spoilers from leaking onto the internet. I was assuming that Capcom was doing the same thing. Atlus had patched Persona 5 to remove the streaming block for after about a week.

So, long story short: If you disable HDR on the PS4's video settings, you should be able to stream Resident Evil 2. You'll be playing at lower resolution, and with less color range, but it'll be playable and streamable. I guess I'll have to chalk this one up to a bug for now? Maybe Capcom will fix it with a patch. I can't imagine that they had deliberately blocked HDR or 4k streaming, but left non-HDR and regular HD enabled.

So pending any other setbacks, I do expect to play Resident Evil 2 this week, and will hopefully have a review out in a couple weeks. I'm leaving the rest of this post intact for posterity. Some of the points about fair use and blocking functionality of the console are still valid for situations like Persona 5, so maybe this blog will serve as a cautionary tale for any publishers or developers who do try to pull something like this deliberately.

UPDATE 26 February, 2019:
I have a full review up for the game now. I have also adapted that review into a video critique on YouTube:

I have adapted my review into a video critique on YouTube.
I was really looking forward to this remake of RE2.

After having to wait all of Saturday night for Resident Evil 2 remake to download and install on my PS4 (and playing Red Dead Redemption 2 to pass the time), I tried booting up the game on Sunday and played 15 minutes, only to find that the entire game is blocked from streaming. Even the built-in "capture" functionality (of the last 15 minutes of gameplay) of the PS4 console is disabled! I didn't even know games on the console could disable the built-in capture.

This realization sent me into a rabbit-hole of digging through the internet to find out if there was a work-around. I couldn't find one. Apparently, only the PS4 version of the game suffers from this problem. Players on Steam and XBox One do not seem to have any issues streaming.

I was very exciting to play this game. I really loved the REmake that was released on PSN a couple years ago, and I've been looking forward to an "RE2make" ever since. Resident Evil VII was also pretty damned good, and a return to form that made me optimistic about the series moving forward. But the game being blocked from streaming and capture put a damper on the experience that makes me not want to play the game. Basically, my night -- and my weekend -- were ruined by this petty decision from Capcom (and the fact that Sony even allows this bullshit on their platform).

This makes blogging about the game much harder

Why is this such a big deal? Why can't I just play the game and not stream it to Twitch? Well, the reason is that I use the streaming and capture functionality to get screenshots (and occasionally video) for use on this blog. After playing the game, I go through the archived footage to get relevant screenshots for blogs, strategy guides, analyses, or whatever I happen to be writing about the game -- all of which is legally protected under fair use!

It isn't just streaming that's disabled; even the capture function built into the PS4 is disabled!

I could maybe have lived without the Twitch broadcast, as I usually prefer to save important footage using the PS4's built-in capture function. The captured footage is much higher quality than what is saved by Twitch, and so it's essential for getting good screenshots of action segments. But the PS4 only saves the last 15 minutes of footage, so I have to make sure to remember to capture any video that I feel I'll need. I use the Twitch stream as a backup in case I forget.

The principle of the thing

More importantly, however, is the principle of the thing. Sony deliberately included on their console the ability to share gameplay to Twitch or YouTube, post gameplay to Facebook, share screenshots, and capture gameplay footage. Capturing and sharing gameplay is a feature of the console! It is a selling point! People buy the console because they are promised that they can stream games and share gameplay over social media. Sony should not allow game publishers to disable this feature -- for any reason! Allowing players to stream the game and capture footage and screenshots should be a condition for putting your game on the platform, because that is what Sony sold to the consumer.

Further, game publishers need to stop being such obnoxious Nazis about "protecting copyright". For one thing, it's free publicity. People watching streamers or "let's-players" play the game exposes the game to additional audiences and may sell copies. More importantly, however, is that sharing exerpts from copyrighted media is legally protected under fair use. Critics and consumers (whether professionals or amateur bloggers like myself) have a legally-protected right to use unlicensed content for the purposes of critical review and analysis, education, or research. Big publishers need to come to terms with that reality and get over it already!

Further, I firmly believe that there needs to be more legal protections for individuals who use content under fair use. Currently, companies can block videos or have entire websites unilaterally shut down for supposed "copyright infringement", with very little (if any) oversight. This can lead to the content-creator losing income from ad revenue or other monetization efforts, even if that content should be protected under fair use laws. Even if the creator is able to successfully appeal the copyright claim, they are rarely (if ever) re-reimbursed for lost revenue.

I'm currently inquiring with Sony about whether I can get a refund. Which is an akward thing in itself, because apparently Sony doesn't have a customer support email for this sort of thing. I had to send the inquiry via Twitter. Weird...

There's no email address for sending refund requests ... ?

I bought the game digitally over PSN, so if I can get my money refunded and delete the game from the console, then I might try buying it on PC (via Steam) instead. Even though I am mad at Capcom for pulling this bullshit, I am even more mad at Sony for selling the console to me with this feature, then letting the publishers disable it at their whim. So if I can take a sale away from Sony and give it to a platform holder that hasn't screwed me over, then that is what I will do.

But I am also mad at Capcom, so I sure as hell am not giving them money for a second copy of the game. If I can't get the refund, I'll play through the game on the PS4 and be very unhappy the whole time I'm playing it -- especially if I miss an opportunity for a great screenshot, and replaying the segment (considering the game's strict checkpoint and save system) is too much of a hassle. And that unhappiness will certainly show through in the inevitable review! If I can get the refund, then I'll play the game on PC, and hopefully not have the experience as tarnished by this abysmally-out-of-touch business decision. I hope that stuff like this brings another class action lawsuit to Sony (like the PS3 Linux fiasco).

... Instead, I had to Tweet @AskPlaystation if I can get a refund.

Of course, while I'm waiting for this to be resolved, I'm likely not going to be playing the game. So if any of my readers were eagerly anticipating my review, you'll have to wait longer. I'm sorry about that. I had planned to play the game launch weekend and have a review out within a week. Looks like that won't be happening.

This might mean that I'll be more free to finish up Red Dead Redemption 2 this week and get that review out sooner!

This also puts me in the uncomfortable position of having to decide whether I ever want to risk buying a game for the PS4 ever again. I'm already shifting more and more of my gaming towards PC over the past few years since I have a pretty good gaming laptop. I only bought the PS4 to be able to play Bloodborne, and I only continue to buy games on the console out of some sense of brand loyalty. But Sony's boneheaded decisions with the PS3 and PS4 have been rapidly and thoroughly eroding that sense of loyalty.

PlayStation Network logo

Had I known that streaming and capture were blocked, I would not have bought the PS4 version to begin with, and would have bought it on Steam from the start. How do I know that I won't be similarly inconvenienced when playing Sekiro, or Devil May Cry 5, or any other PS4 game that I am looking forward to?

So if you were also planning on streaming the game, or capturing footage for whatever reason [protected by fair use], then I recommend getting it on a different platform.

I haven't seen any reports of XBox or Steam users having this issue.

Now that we have a 4k TV, I was also thinking of investing in a PS4 Pro (and maybe even getting VR). As a bonus, with 2 PS4 consoles in the house, my girlfriend and I would be able to play Bloodborne together! She was on the final boss, but lost her save file due to a hardware issue, so I was planning on helping get replay the game quickly in co-op to get her back to the final boss and Chalice Dungeons. But now I'm not sure if I want to do that either. If I'm going to be shifting even more of my gaming onto PC so that I can reliably record footage, then there's no point in having a PS4 pro. So not only is Sony possibly losing their portion of the sale of this copy of Resident Evil 2 (if I can get the refund), but they are also losing out on almost a thousand dollars from me in the form of a PS4 Pro and VR set that I won't be buying, not to mention all the lost game sales.

Also, shame on the games media for not warning consumers about this before the game released!

Comments (4) -

Mr. Eff
Mr. Eff
01/28/2019 08:18:16 #

Sorry to hear about that - i was looking forward to your thoughts. I'm a long time fan of the old games and hated the direction the series took in the late 2000s. And I think it might be the best game in the series.
If you decide to get it on PC, I got my Steam code on a site called Green Man Gaming for $47 US on launch day. I hope it works out for you because it really is a great game for fans of the classics.

01/28/2019 14:09:03 #

There is a workaround to allow you to stream resident evil 2 on your PS4. I have a PS4 PRO with a 4K TV and tried streaming as well and with no avail it didn’t work. Finally I found something online that remedies this issue. Turning HDR off on the PS4 video settings will allow you to stream the game. Down side is you won’t be able to play in native 4K but the flip side is the streaming will work.

01/28/2019 17:37:29 #

I have the same problem but I have seen PS4 user put there gameplay videos on youtube. I am thinking they are using a capture card with or without a splitter. This might be the way around this. I have a capture card arriving soon so I will find out shortly. If that dont work I might try adding a HDMI splitter.

01/28/2019 19:09:07 #

Thanks all for the feedback!

Based on feedback from commentors and from Twitter posters, I have tested and confirmed that HDR appears to be the culprit. If you disable HDR in your PS4 video settings, the game should stream, share, and capture normally. I have updated the top of this post with my findings. I hope this helps anybody else who had the same problem.

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