Twitch should be worried about Game Broadcasting for Windows 10

Twitch should be worried about Game Broadcasting for Windows 10

0
Shares
What's This?
Image: Microsoft
2016%2f09%2f16%2f63%2fhttpsd2mhye01h4nj2n.cloudfront.netmediazgkymde1lza2.c97cfBy Adam Rosenberg2016-10-26 15:25:02 UTC

It might not have a flashy name like Twitch does, but Game Broadcasting for Windows 10 is a threat to the current industry leader in live video game streaming.

Microsoft finally revealed what its plans are for Beam, the Twitch-like service it acquired back in August. The Game Broadcasting feature, announced during the company's Oct. 26 event, is powered by that acquisition, and it's coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One both.

The existing Twitch integration on Xbox One won't be going anywhere. Here's an official statement on the matter, provided to Mashable by a Microsoft spokesperson:

Beam will let you watch live gaming streams and give you the ability to interact with broadcasters in near real time. Plus, since Beam technology is built right into Windows 10 and Xbox One, anyone on Xbox Live can become a game broadcaster without needing to download additional software.

By building Beam technology right into Windows 10 and Xbox One, we're making it easier than ever for anyone to be a game broadcaster by creating a seamless experience where users can both view and broadcast game streams in near real-time. We continue to support our existing streaming partners like Twitch, but are excited to see the Xbox community take advantage of the new streaming and interactivity options offered with Beam. We want to give fans more choice in how and where they stream their games.

Take note of the "in near real time" nature of Beam broadcasts, as that's the big advantage Microsoft's option offers over Twitch. Currently, Twitch broadcasts run about 10 to 15 seconds behind live play, which can make it difficult for the broadcaster to interact with her or his audience.

Beam, on the other hand, claims to cut streaming lag down to less than one second. There are certainly questions about how the service — which has a smaller audience than Twitch — will scale with heavy use, but near-zero streaming lag is a huge advantage.

With Beam, Microsoft also has a streaming service that includes built-in interactive features, giving viewers new ways to communicate with whomever they're watching.

You might remember the "Twitch Plays Pokémon" fervor back in 2014. Beam formalizes that sort of back-and-forth between streamer and audience with customizable button prompts that allow viewers to send simple messages to a stream's host.

Even with all the advantages, Beam is still a big question mark. Microsoft must have faith in the underlying tech, given the August acquisition, but the service as a whole hasn't been tested by an outsized traffic load of the sort that Twitch deals in on a daily basis.

Nonetheless, this is an encouraging step for Microsoft to take for anyone who has ever found themselves frustrated with the quality or performance of currently available streaming services.

The Beam-powered Game Broadcasting will be coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One as part of the Creators Update in early 2017.

Topics: Beam, Entertainment, Esports, Gaming, streaming services, Tech, TWITCH, Windows 10, xbox one

SHARE THIS
Previous Post
Next Post