Earlier this year, Microsoft rebranded its Beam acquisition as Mixer in an attempt to give it a more friendly and accessible name. Since that rebranding, the company has been pushing the service as a way to watch the company’s live events but the platform is continuously coming up short.
At E3 and yesterday at Gamescom, Microsoft was promoting the service and offering up prizes if you logged into your Microsoft account while watching the keynotes. Unfortunately, at both events, the service provided a subpar experience.
I almost always watch these types of event on my desktop which means I am streaming through the browser. During yesterday’s session, the stream stopped working or would not jump to the live feed, spark accumulation was not accurate and most annoyingly, chat was not working as well.
The reason why the chat functionality was the most annoying part is that it flashes a message that it will attempt to reconnect to the servers every 10 seconds. Unfortunately, there is no way to completely hide the chat (which is another issue) and while you can drag it to the side (see the gif above), the blinking reconnecting message is not fully hidden when in non-full screen mode.
But of all the problems, the stream dropping frequently during the event for the second time at a major conference is a bigger issue for Microsoft. As Twitch keeps growing and YouTube is trying to crack into game-streaming, Mixer can’t afford to be known as the “unstable” service.
Users on Twitter around the globe were experiencing the many issues and giving up on the service by jumping over to YouTube. Granted, the streaming on Xbox.com, which appears to be using a different service, had no issues during the event; Microsoft has the ability to stream video smoothly but for its premier platform, it fell flat compared to competitors.
I quite like Mixer and was streaming PUBG earlier today on the streaming service. The platform has a few unique features and the low latency streaming works well but when Mixer is being exposed to a large outside audience, it comes up short.
There is plenty of room in the game streaming market for Mixer to live and thrive but only if the service can handle large volumes of traffic. With the platform failing during both E3 and Gamescom where the company was exposing new users to the service, it does not leave a good first impression.
Tagged with Mixer