Microsoft Announces a Big Mixer Upgrade

Posted on November 1, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Games, Mobile, Windows 10, Xbox One with 2 Comments

Microsoft today announced what it calls the “next major evolution” of its Mixer game streaming service, which it calls Season 2.

“Season 2 covers new investments in innovation to bring the community a more interactive and engaging livestreaming experience,” a Microsoft representative told me. “Building upon what the team has learned since Mixer first launched, Season 2 gives viewers more fun ways to express themselves, supports creators with new monetization opportunities and strengthens streamer communities. We’re also continuing to grow and refine our existing experience with new video capabilities for streaming and viewing as part of Season 2.”

The Season 2 name may be a bit confusing. Microsoft says that it chose this name for the upgrade because it’s not just a one-day thing.

“Season 2 reflects the living, breathing nature of Mixer with new experiences and new things to try all the time,” Mixer general manager Chad Gibson writes. “We believe that livestreaming shouldn’t just be a one-way, static video experience. It should feel more like hanging out with friends playing games on a Saturday night, than watching a recording of someone millions of miles away who can’t hear you. It should be immersive and interactive, not shallow and passive.”

New features in Mixer Season 2 include:

Skills. Available now, Skills provide completely new ways to express yourself while watching a stream. You can send stickers and GIFs, launch celebratory effects like fireworks and confetti, and more.

Sparks. Also available now, Sparks let you reward your favorite streamers without spending money. You can earn Sparks just by watching streams.

Embers. This new virtual currency will let you buy high-value Skills. “Embers will be a paid currency that goes a step further than Sparks and provides your favorite streamers with direct financial rewards and bigger celebrations,” Microsoft notes. Embers are coming soon.

Progression. Coming in 2019, the new progression system will help everyone on Mixer be rewarded for their entire engagement, and not just when they spend money. You can level up by using chat or Skills, by earning Applause from other users, or just by signing in each day.

In addition, Microsoft is making various fundamental improvements to Mixer’s video capabilities. It will enable automatic bitrate switching, more options for streaming via third-party software and devices, and a reporting system that can help Microsoft improve the service.

You can learn more on the Mixer website.

 

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