Xbox One owners can soon start expanding their “personal brands” through the use of gameplay livestreaming.

Microsoft announced this morning that it is finally bringing gameplay broadcasting to its latest console on March 11. That’s the same date the hotly anticipated futuristic shooter Titanfall hits the system. Microsoft showed the Twitch app in a blog this morning and revealed that players can start streaming by simply saying “Xbox, broadcast” to the hardware’s Kinect camera and microphone. This means gamers can share their video live on the Internet without needing any extra hardware or software.

The Xbox One Twitch experience does sport a few elements that its PS4 rival is missing. Most notably, gamers can save archives of their broadcasts to Twitch’s database. This is something Sony’s system does not support. Viewers on the Xbox One can even join a broadcaster’s in-game party and start playing with them.

“We are definitely expecting a large throng of new broadcasters given the robust feature set that’s featured in Xbox One’s Twitch integration and its huge install base,” Twitch marketing boss Matthew DiPietro told GamesBeat.

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With this support for Twitch, the Xbox One now has all of the major features that Microsoft promised prior to launching its gaming box in November. This also gives the system parity with PlayStation 4 in terms of video sharing. Sony’s machine introduced livestreaming to Twitch and Ustream on its Nov. 15 debut.

“Since the launch of the next-gen consoles, this has been the most requested feature by far,” said DiPietro. “The Twitch community finally gets the final piece to the puzzle. We want to be everywhere that gamers are and this is a momentous step in getting closer to achieving that goal.”

Livestreaming is a growing way that gamers are learning about new titles. It’s also a huge marketing opportunity for publishers. Some of the biggest channels on Twitch have millions of viewers on a regular basis, and games benefit from capturing that attention.

Twitch is also likely going to grow thanks to this news. Since adding PlayStation 4 support, the company has added an additional 200,000 unique broadcasters. It now has over 1 million people that use its service to share live video of their gaming action, and it hosts 45 million unique monthly viewers.

While Microsoft and Sony handle livestreaming differently, Twitch’s DiPietro says that he doesn’t think one company or the other is doing it better.

“We don’t play favorites,” he said. “Instead, we work closely with all of our partners to help them create the Twitch experience they want for their communities. We are also able to work with them to build new and innovative features, so there is always the opportunity for game changer updates beyond the initial integration.”

Twitch isn’t the only update coming to Xbox One before publisher Electronic Arts and developer Respawn Entertainment launch Titanfall. Microsoft plans an early March update that will improve the device’s multiplayer and group-chat features.

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Founded in June 2011 and acquired by Amazon in 2014, Twitch is the world’s leading social video platform and community for gamers. Each month, more than 100 million gather to watch and talk about video games with more than 1.5 millio... read more »

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