Stream Android games to Twitch without a smartphone

Bluestacks' desktop emulator now works with the broadcasting service.

Twitch committed to mobile gaming by sponsoring a Vainglory tournament and now it'll be easier to stream Android games thanks to Bluestacks. As a reminder, Bluestacks makes an Android emulator for PC (or Mac) that lets you run most any mobile app or game on the desktop. The new app, called Bluestacks TV, works in two ways. First off, you'll be able to watch selected Twitch streams on Bluestacks, as if you were watching a Twitch Stream on mobile. At the same time, mobile game broadcasters will be able to stream directly to Twitch via the Bluestacks emulator without using a smartphone.

The latter feat is by far the most difficult of the two, according to Bluestacks, and will be a boon to mobile game broadcasters. Normally, you need a phone or tablet, wires to connect to a PC and a webcam. "A lot of people have tried to crack mobile game streaming, but the multiple-device issue makes it really hard," says Bluestacks VP John Gargiulo. "This consolidates everything onto one PC, which is the device of choice for gamers anyway." To show off the tech, Bluestacks TV will host a mobile Hearthstone tournament on Twitch that kicks off today at 9 AM ET.

Purists might argue that streaming from a PC via emulation isn't exactly in the spirit of mobile gaming. Nevertheless, Bluestacks reportedly has 130 million users, so the partnership exposes a lot of those folks to Twitch and vice-versa. It will also make things easier for mobile Twitch broadcasters and developers alike. "We've been approached to put an SDK in our games, but that's bandwidth we don't have," developer Mark Zhang told Bluestacks. "The fact that millions of people can stream Castle Clash to Twitch without us doing anything is massive."