I’m a bit surprised this took so long, but Google announced a YouTube Gaming service today that will go head-to-head with Twitch, which was purchased by Amazon.com last year. Given the sheer amount of video game-related content on YouTube already, I suspect this service will do quite well for itself.
“On YouTube, gaming has spawned entirely new genres of videos, from let’s plays, walkthroughs, and speedruns to cooking and music videos,” writes Google product manager Alan Joyce in a post to the YouTube Official Blog. “Now, it’s our turn to return the favor with something built just for gamers.”
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YouTube Gaming will offer the following when it launches later this summer:
Live streams. Since this is such a key part of the experience—not to mention Twitch’s bread and butter, game live streams are “front-and-center” on the YouTube Gaming homepage. Google promises an improved live experience in the coming weeks that will make it simpler to broadcast your gameplay to YouTube. Plus, you can easily share streams with a single link.
Specs gamers care about. YouTube Gaming offers 60 FPS streaming, DVR capabilities, and automatic conversion of streams into YouTube videos.
25,000 games, each with its own channel. Over 25,000 games will each have their own page, Google says, a single place for all the best videos and live streams about that title.
Subscriptions. Subscribe (for free) to a channel to keep up on your favorite games and be notified when live stream start.
Search. “When you want something specific,” Google notes, “you can search with confidence, knowing that typing ‘call’ will show you ‘Call of Duty’ and not ‘Call Me Maybe’.” Cute.
YouTube Gaming will launch in the US and UK this summer, Google says, and it plans to show off an early version of the service next week at E3. You can learn more at the YouTube Gaming web site. But I have questions about how/if this will ever work with Xbox consoles and there’s zero info about that sort of thing so far.