You can now stream to more services than just Twitch directly from your Xbox One.
Microsoft is releasing an app for its Beam livestreaming service to a subset of Xbox One owners who are in the company’s Insider program. This app will enable you to view Beam streams or to broadcast some of your own gameplay to the service. If you get into the preview, you can test it out by hitting the guide button on your Xbox One controller, selecting the broadcast icon at the bottom of the menu, and opening up Beam. Like Twitch, Beam is all about bringing live gaming video content to the Web, but unlike that Amazon owned competitor, Beam has almost no delay between when you do something and when your audience sees it. This potentially enables much more social interactions between the broadcaster and their viewers, and it’s one of the primary reasons that Microsoft acquired Beam in August. Getting native support on Beam should also help the service compete for eyeballs with Twitch and YouTube in the $3.8 billion gaming-video market.
Additionally, by building Beam into Xbox One, Microsoft could begin enabling some fascinating interactive features.
“The popularity of game streaming has exploded in the past few years, and Beam is unique in that it not only lets gamers broadcast or watch their favorite streams, but Beam also gives streamers and viewers the ability to interact and play along together — it’s pretty cool,” Beam engineering lead Matt Salsamendi wrote in a blog post. “We’re constantly energized and impressed by the vibrant and dedicated following of gamers, streamers, and viewers that connect with Beam on a daily basis, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to officially join the Xbox Live community.”
Starting up the Beam app on Xbox One for broadcasting gives you a handful of basic options. You can enable your microphone, camera, and other items like that. To control the quality of your livestream, however, you’ll have to find the Broadcasting option in the system settings. Here you can control the audio levels and the bitrate of your video.
This is only the start of Microsoft’s gaming-video efforts, and it shows that the company is interested in controlling the media that its games create in addition to the games themselves. In terms of the interactive features, we will likely see what that looks like on a grander scale in the near future, but you can imagine that Microsoft is likely planning to combine that functionality with one of its most popular livestreaming games: Minecraft. Until that manifests, however, another competitor in the streaming space should ensure that leaders like Twitch and YouTube stay on their toes and continue improving their user experiences.