Google will today launch a new service under their YouTube brand that is designed to go head-to-head with Twitch, the popular game streaming service. The new service, dubbed YouTube Gaming, will offer new ways, as well as building on existing features, to make managing your favorite games, channels, and broadcasts game footage even easier.
Google previously tried and failed to acquire Twitch, with Amazon emerging victorious with a bid of nearly $1 billion - which was reportedly a similar amount to that which Google offered. With Twitch now under the control of Amazon and Steam already having introduced its own broadcasting feature earlier this year, Google's only way to get into the streaming game business is to do it themselves.
With the new service, users will be able to select from more than 25,000 game titles, each with their own dedicated page, where they will be able to see top content from both game publishers and YouTube creators. Users will be able to add their favorite games to a collection for quick access.
The most important feature however, if Google wants to really take on Twitch and Steam, is live streaming. YouTube will support 60 frame-per-second streaming, as well as recording and conversion features for content creators. Google will build on this by allowing users to start live events on the fly without scheduling, allowing for greater flexibility for gamers. To make life even easier, streamers will have a single dedicated link that will send viewers and followers directly to their latest stream event.
Initially, YouTube Gaming will only be available from today in the United States and United Kingdom at gaming.youtube.com, as well as both on iOS and Android through their respective stores, with no word about availability for other regions yet.
Only time will tell how successful Google will be at converting Twitch's massive user base.