Today Polygon reported that the Xbox One will support external video capture. While this is consistent with Microsoft’s ongoing messaging regarding capture – that it’ll work “the same as on the 360” – it’s got a lot more weight to it coming from Microsoft Game Studios VP Phil Spencer. I finally believe that this might be the truth, rather than Microsoft screwing up messaging.

While I’m very pleased to see that we won’t all be criminals, I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Even if the content protection is the same as the 360, the functionality isn’t. The Xbox One is designed to be your everything box – seamlessly flying between gaming, TV, Skype, Blu Ray, and anything else you can imagine. If even one of those things is HDCP encrypted, the box has to transition from an unencrypted output to an encrypted one on-the-fly; likewise, your television has to accept this change. Can that happen while preserving this Instant Switching experience they keep touting? I’m not sure. Watch this demo again:

That’s some pretty fast switching for encryption to be toggling. But who knows, I don’t work with HDCP hardware, maybe stuff that fast is possible.

Also worrying is the way this was worded: HDCP was only given as one example of content that can’t be captured. What are the others?

Users won’t be able to capture all video content from the console, he said, using a stream that supports HDCP encryption as an example of a case where it won’t be possible.

– via Polygon

While I’m optimistic about this news, I still think that there’s another shoe dangling somewhere, waiting to drop.

Let’s hope it’s not a big one.