Aug 26th, 2015

YouTube Gaming

Quick heads-up, folks: YouTube Gaming has officially launched today! You can jump right in through your browser, or by downloading the app from Google Play.

YouTube Gaming is Google’s attempt at creating a gaming-centric YouTube platform where you can find all the latest gameplay videos, live streams and other video game content.

Video games are all the rage in digital video these days, with Amazon’s $1 billion purchase of Twitch as proof positive of its importance in online media. Gamers love to watch others play games as much as they enjoy playing them.

YouTube Gaming heart

So what’ll the service provide once the website and app go live later today? You’ll find yourself whisked into a world of content focused on what you care about, whether that’s a specific game or a favorite broadcaster or YouTuber of yours. That’s the one thing that Google hopes will separate YouTube Gaming from the current king known as Twitch: you can watch people play games live and interact with them through text chat, or you can simply find a cool new YouTuber to follow if you enjoy them and the games they play.

But that isn’t a terribly compelling argument. It’ll come down to a couple of important factors:

  • Userbase. There needs to be a good variety of streams and people to watch. And there needs to be just as many people watching. No one likes a dead chat, after all. This isn’t something Google can completely control, but we imagine they’ll get the hype train rolling with some aggressive marketing throughout their websites.
  • Stability and reliability. Anyone who frequents Twitch as much as I do knows how annoying buffering is to deal with during normal peak hours. Make it smooth. Make it easy. Make it work.
  • Make it fun. Load the chat box up with silly emotes and let us express our feelings about the games and streamers in unique ways. Interaction is more than half the fun.

If anyone has the tools to hit on these three points, it’s Google. They already have some cool features in-store that their competitors can’t tout, such as true 60fps streaming and playback, and HTML5-based video players. They’re also making it easy to instantly convert your live broadcasts to YouTube videos and allowing you to start a stream without having it scheduled in advance.

We’ll be checking it out for ourselves to see what all the fuss is about, so stay tuned for first impressions!

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