One of the large acquisitions last year relating to gaming, was when Microsoft acquired Beam, a small streaming company looking to compete with Twitch. Well with today’s announcement, it’s clear Microsoft expects to take on Twitch at the global level.
According to sources, the name “Beam” couldn’t be used globally and therefore Microsoft was forced to change it. Mixer is the new name and beyond the standard integration with Xbox and Windows 10, it’s bringing some key features that should separate it from Twitch. The emphasis is on community sharing and as such you’ll be able to combine 4 feeds and 4 chat channels into a single stream. Combined with the FTL stream protocol which gives viewers a near real-time view of the player, this could be a powerful tool for both streamers and competitions alike. Additionally, a new App titled “Mixer Create” will provide all of the mobile streaming features you would expect.
Lastly, the Xbox team confirmed today that their E3 2017 broadcast would be hosted on Mixer, along with the Xbox One S dashboard, in 4K.
It’s pretty clear that Microsoft is serious about offering an integrated streaming service for Xbox and Windows gamers. Combined with the rumored 4K Game DVR and Streaming expected of the Scorpio, and they could really be onto something later this year. That said, Twitch and Youtube are very well established among the gaming community with massive audiences on a daily basis. Breaking through that wall is a monumental task so we’ll have to see how dedicated Microsoft is to making Mixer work.