YouTube hopes to take on Twitch with silky smooth video game streams

Despite YouTube’s failure to acquire Twitch last year due to antitrust issues, the company has been busy working on other ways to get game streamers to move over to YouTube, rather than the now Amazon-owned Twitch, and this week they’ve made the first step, though are streamers going to budge from an already well established platform?

Though streaming on YouTube has been available for some time, the company’s offerings just haven’t been that impressive, and with Twitch boasting the largest viewership for video game streams it’s unlikely that a bog-standard stream is going to cut it. That’s why this week YouTube has introduced something which might put them ahead of the competition: live streams that run at 60 frames per second.

Games are fast and intense, and having a game which plays at 60 frames per second or more, streaming at a crappy 25-30 frames, depending on the connection, doesn’t quite offer the same experience to the viewers, that the gamer is receiving. In order to make things a little more immersive for viewers, YouTube has this week rolled out the ability to watch some game streams at a whopping 1080p60 allowing for much smother gameplay viewing.

This new feature isn’t just for gaming either. YouTube has revealed that this new feature means “silky smooth playback for gaming and other fast-action videos.” So all of those GoPro clips you see of people bombing down hills on snowboards, motorbikes, and other things, will seem much more fluid. The feature is available right now but the company are keen to highlight that it’s an “early preview,” and works in any browser that supports HTML5.

“We’ll also make your stream available in 30fps on devices where high frame rate viewing is not yet available,” the company explains, “while we work to expand support in the coming weeks.”

In addition to the new framerate, YouTube has been working on making live streams an overall better experience using HTML5. One of the improvements is the ability to dive into a livestream half way through, and skip back to catch up on what you’ve missed. You can then speed it back up to what’s happening live.

This is apparently just the icing on the cake, as reports suggest that YouTube is planning to unveil its own in-house streaming service at E3 next month, that’ll have a much wider focus on eSports.

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