In a surprise move, Microsoft revealed today that it has renamed its Beam game streaming service to Mixer. And it’s adding new features, including co-streaming, mobile device support, and more.
“Today marks a big evolution of our interactive live-streaming platform and a new name for the service: Mixer,” Beam co-founder and Mixer engineering lead Matt Salsamendi reveals. “But, more than just the name, we’re launching several of the features that you all have been asking for. Features that will unlock a whole new world of possibilities for social streaming, and help viewers find the content they’re looking for across the service.”
According to Salsamendi, Microsoft has rebranded Beam as Mixer because of international issues with the original name. Presumably, this name didn’t translate well into certain languages.
As for the new naming choice, Salsamendi says it represents what fans love most about the service: How it brings people together.
“It brings people together through the core experience and ‘special sauce’ that our fans already know and love: the ability to not just watch streams, but to also interact with streamers and play together in near real-time,” he explains. “In other words, Mixer is live streaming that’s actually live, compared to the 10- to 20-second latency you typically get on other platforms.”
Salsamendi also hints at some future possibilities for the service, including “official game integration” with Minecraft. But other game makers are already integrating Mixer into their titles in interesting ways. For example, TellTale Games has created a Crowd Play feature for games like Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, Batman: The Telltale Series that lets audiences make decisions that impact the gameplay during a live broadcast.
Additionally, Microsoft has announced the following new Beam, er, Mixer features:
Co-streaming. Now, up to four gamers can combine their streams into a single experience which is displayed on a single Mixer page using a split-screen view. “Viewers don’t need to flip back and forth across different streams to view the same group of streamers,” Salsamendi writes. They can watch all the action in one place, while enjoying all the innovative interactivity that Mixer offers.”
Mixer Create Beta for Android and iOS. A beta version of the Mixer Create mobile app is now available on Android and iOS, enabling self-broadcasting. In the future, this app will be updated to support live gameplay streaming from your mobile device as well. And you will be able to join a co-stream with friends who are broadcasting on PC, console or other mobile devices, Microsoft says.
Channel One. This moderated channel of content lets you see the high-quality streams that are available across Mixer from one place. This will include “big title releases, livestream events, tips and tricks, esports updates, and more,” according to Salsamendi.
Mixer on the Xbox One Dashboard. Available today to Xbox Insiders, a new Mixer tab in the Xbox One Dashboard will provide a curated front-end to Mixer broadcasts.
But wait, there’s more: Microsoft will also be live broadcasting its E3 presentation next month via Mixer in 4K UHD.