You might be surprised but live streaming of games is getting big. Google was reportedly interested in buying Twitch for $1 billion but Amazon snapped up the service instead. Google has now launched its own service named YouTube Gaming.
Stream and watch gameplay
In essence, YouTube Gaming is a place where you can watch other gamers play games or live stream your own games for the world to see. Google wants it to be THE place for gamers to meet but it will have to compete with competitors such as Twitch.
“eSports” is getting quite big. The League of Legends Championship in 2014 had over 27 million viewers (11 million concurrent) and the DotA 2 finals had over 20 million (2 million concurrent). The DotA finals were even aired on ESPN. For comparison last year’s Super Bowl final was estimated to have 111 million viewers (concurrent) and the Fifa World Cup finals are estimated to attract over 300 million viewers (concurrent).
Google wants to take gaming further. YouTube Gaming is now available as an app for iOS and Android. It is also available on the web. We expect to see apps for media players and possibly Smart TVs later. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One already have built-in support for live streaming of games to Amazon-owned Twitch, and we can imagine that Google is working on similar deals. Google is also trying to enter the game console market with its Android TV platform.
The service lets you instantly watch or search for content. You can see what others are watching and add your own games to get suggestions. You can see what is trending and what is live, or just dig through the archive. More than 25,000 games will each have their own page and game publishers can use the service to share information about new or upcoming games with fans.
YouTube Gaming already supports live streaming at 1080p and 60fps.
One could imagine that adding virtual reality on top could be the next step for Google, so you could actually be “part” of the game. Google certainly shows interest.
If you are a gamer, go ahead and give it a try at gaming.youtube.com. The apps are not available in all markets yet but Google intends to roll out the service globally, starting with the US and UK.