has been the one and only streaming service Xbox One users have been able to use since it was first released alongside several other apps a couple of years ago. YouTube has been another option for some but is no where near as popular as Twitch as users would need to stream from a computer or laptop that was more than capable of handling the requirements to do so as there is no option within the app to stream. Whichever app you may prefer to stream or watch streams through, the experience with streaming is almost always very passive as players simply watch another player play. Sure, they can type in chat and the streamer can comment back, but dependant on what game the streamer is playing, how immersed into the game they are, and how interactive they may be with the viewers themselves, interaction can sometimes be non-existent.
In an interesting move, Microsoft has announced that they have acquired another streaming service known as Beam, which unlike Twitch and Youtube, is a fully interactive livestreaming service that allows viewers to actually watch and play with the streamer in real-time. Rather than just simply watching a streamer and typing away in chat to either see your comment ignored or fly off the chat screen miles faster than you could type "lol", viewers will be able to "directly influence a streamer's gameplay and live broadcast".
Chad Gibson, Partner Group Manager for Xbox LIVE, is pumped for the fun combo of playing and watching to come:
We at Xbox are excited about this convergence between playing and watching, and want to provide gamers with the freedom and choice to have great multiplayer experiences across all of Beam’s platforms. This acquisition will help gamers enjoy the games they want, with the people they want, and on the devices they want.
In this newly release video, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson sits down with Beam CEO Matt Salsamendi to discuss some of the features of Beam as well as showcasing an example of the interactive stream with some Minecraft
Although not shown in the video, Sea of Thieves
was used as a small example in the announcement with the option for viewers to watch the watery war unfold between different crews from "multiple player perspectives". Specific details were not revealed but could this mean that a viewer could seamlessly switch from the different player cameras to get a good view from any chosen angle? Would this only work if each player in the match is perhaps logged into Beam or could maybe the main streamer manually add each player to the stream?
Beam promises to make interactivity easy for streamers to enable and customize their options no matter what platform you're on or what game you're playing. The service is designed to work with any game and "will continue to offer broadcasts across all gaming platforms".
Beam is without a release date for Xbox One but we'll be sure to keep you guys in the loop as and when more details arrive. For now, why not check out the Beam website
and "start playing" right now!