On Thursday, Microsoft announced the launch of Mixer, the streaming platform for gamers previously known as Beam. Under its new name, the most significant feature it brings is co-streaming, which allows up to four people to broadcast different content.
The platform announcement made many users compare it with Twitch, the king of gaming streaming. The same happened after Microsoft acquired Beam late last year.
Mixer will also feature an even heavier integration with Windows 10 and Xbox One than its predecessor, including dedicated channels in the console’s home. There is also an official mobile app from which users can watch streams and broadcast themselves live.
Microsoft Mixer’s co-streaming delivers all the action in one place
Perhaps the most interesting feature arriving with Mixer is co-streaming. This co-op broadcast mode allows four people to stream whatever they want to watchers around the world on Xbox or PC.
As such, the Twitch rival displays all four streams in a split-screen mode so that users can tune into someone playing through a game, a video blogger, a live event like an e-sports competition, a concert, or a conference at the same ime.
Matt Salsamendi, co-founder of Mixer, says the experience in the platform is different not only at the technical level but also at the user engagement level. The service has lower latency than others and lets users truly interact with streams beyond chats.
Mixer has demonstrated this interactive user engagement through a partnership with Telltale Games and a mode they call Crowd Play. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series and The Walking Dead: A New Frontier both have the feature which allows fans to make live in-game choices.
Mixer wants you to broadcast your mobile gaming sessions too
The official mobile app is also getting an update after the rebranding, and it now lets users broadcast themselves like Facebook Live, except only for the Mixer audience.
Mixer Create Beta, which is the name of the Android and iOS application, has support for the same interactive features of the PC and Xbox version of the platform, letting users chat and influence live decision-making.
However, Microsoft wants to go beyond and let users stream mobile gameplay straight from their devices too. This could bring a potential new wave of streamers dedicated to broadcasting Hearthstone matches, Pokémon Go hunting sessions, and Fire Emblem: Heroes duels.
Like Twitch and other services, you don’t need much besides the mandatory account, a decent rig and a stable internet connection to both watch and stream. It is up for free right now on PC and Xbox One if you want to give it a try.