Monday , November 30 2020

Fortnite adds in-game video chat



Today’s Fortnite update adds in-game video chat, streamed from your team’s mobile phones. You’ll need Epic’s free Houseparty app, and for starters, it’s only available on PC, PlayStation 5, and PS4.

So how does it work? Well, once you’ve linked your Fortnite account with Houseparty, all you need to do is create a group chat and put the phone next to you wherever you go.

This group chat or Houseparty room exists both in the app and Fortnite – so you can chat with your friends if they are playing and you are not, or vice versa. Houseparty technology finds its face and displays it in the new video chat sidebar on the Fortnite screen. See what it looks like:

And while you can already broadcast yourself playing Fortnite with your friends, this option is designed especially for you to keep your friends on the screen and control who is at the video party. You can only chat with Houseparty friends and their friends, and you can block anyone you don’t like with a few taps.

Fortnite

Fortnite has a large audience of younger players so it’s important to note that Houseparty is intended for ages 13 and older and is intended for video calls that focus specifically on their face.

The app’s algorithm even checks that your face is visible (twice per second, I’m told) and turns off the camera to display only the digital background in case it can’t crop it.

I asked Epic about the lack of Xbox platforms included in this release, although there seems to be no technical reason to save them for later.

“At the moment, it’s only available on PC and PlayStation (PS4 and PS5),” Epic added in today’s statement. “We’ll let everyone know if we can support more platforms in the future.”

Today’s update is the last of the season dedicated to Fortnite Marvel, set to culminate at the end of the month with an explosive live event and the arrival of the big evil Galactus.

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