Broadcasting live gameplay to Twitch or Facebook isn’t easy. It means setting up special capture software and navigating a mire of complicated bandwidth settings. Microsoft is trying to fix that: the next version of Windows 10 is going to integrate game broadcasting directly into the Xbox App. The streaming experience promises not only to be easy, but also to almost eliminate the communication lag between viewers and broadcasters — but don’t expect to use it on Twitch. Microsoft’s Windows 10 seems to be designed specifically for Beam.
If you’re not familiar, Beam was a start-up streaming service that let viewers more directly interact with a broadcaster’s game — allowing them to choose what weapon they might use next or select what weapon the player will have next. Microsoft bought the company earlier this year, and seems to be positioning it as the default streaming platform for Windows.
Starting with the Windows 10 creators update, gamers will be able to start a broadcast to Beam by pressing the Windows button and the ‘G’ key, giving them an instant streaming overlay with a preview of their stream and a community chat window. That’s great on its own, but the real selling point is Beam’s low latency streams — allowing players to watch gameplay in near-realtime and giving broadcasters the ability to respond to chat messages almost instantly. Beam users will also be able to send audio commands that ask the broadcaster to pay attention to the chat window, or take a specific action in the game.
Microsoft hasn’t said if the Xbox App’s streaming tools will work with other streaming services, but it definitely seems like a simpler way to broadcast gameplay. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait awhile before trying it out — the streaming update isn’t due to arrive until Windows 10’s Creators Update launches early next year.