Yesterday, Microsoft announced they have renamed the Beam streaming service to Mixer. They have also upped their streaming game to compete with the likes of Twitch and Youtube live broadcasting.
Microsoft acquired Beam last year and this is the first serious change they have rolled out since the purchase.
Mixer is built into Windows 10 and Xbox One. And, as of yesterday, it is available on PC for all and on console for Insiders. Microsoft have not really fully explained why they changed the name. They did say that the name is supposed to reflect how their service brings everyone together. Streaming is a social thing after all.
Microsoft explained they have now added co-op streaming to the service. Available today on PC but Xbox players will have to wait a little until it has been tested by Insiders. Streamers will be able to invite friends to their stream and combine all added streams (up to 4) into one stream. This will display everyone in the stream as split screen. With a full team of 4 in a game such as Player Unknowns Battlegrounds this will bring an added dimension to the stream as viewers can follow all of the action all of the time. The co-streaming does not have to be the same game or even the same platform.
One of Microsoft’ major selling points here is that the streams are live. You could say that Twitch is live streams but latency means you are not watching a live show. Microsoft have claimed there is almost zero latency once you go live, so even easier for stream snipers… Kappa?
Mixer Create Beta Mobile App
As well as all the above, Microsoft have also announced the Mixer Create Beta mobile app. This is available on iOS and Android as of yesterday. This app will support self-broadcasting and they will add the ability to stream mobile games “soon”. Once this becomes available users will be able to join other co-streamers whether they are on PC, Console or Mobile, with no restriction.
We installed and ran the new app on an Android and it looks quite slick. You can also link your Microsoft account with your Beam account so do not worry if it is asking for your Microsoft details, this can be changed.
The use of livestream for something other than gameplay is a goal that Twitch have been moving towards in the last 6 months or so. There are now options for Creative streaming among others and it is a good sign that Microsoft have acknowledged it is not just about gaming but a social event too!
Mixer Blog for full details