If you're serious about video game streaming, you most likely have a PC with a decent capture card, microphone, camera and software like XSplit or OBS. It can be expensive and a little convoluted, which is why Sony and Microsoft are making their respective consoles better all-in-one streamers. On the Xbox side, Microsoft has added third-party USB camera support for "Insiders," or beta testers, on its "Preview Alpha Ring." It only works with Mixer, the company's Twitch rival, and strictly for broadcasting video — so you'll still need a headset or microphone to handle your vocal chords.
Mixer, formerly known as Beam, lags far behind Twitch in popularity. For most streamers, then, this new feature will be fairly insignificant. Still, it's a welcome addition, and one that could persuade a few extra players to try Microsoft's streaming platform. Should that happen, it could also persuade Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and others to patch in similar support. That would help Microsoft and — were the same features to be replicated on the PlayStation 4 — Sony to close the gap between console streaming and console-streaming through-a-PC setups. Professional webcams, after all, will always best Microsoft's Kinect and Sony's PlayStation Camera.
If you're part of the Mixer community, hold tight. USB webcam support is rolling out now to Insiders, and should be completed "in the coming weeks." In a blog post, the team said it would need feedback from Xbox One owners before it's comfortable offering the feature to everyone. "We won't release this feature broadly until we're confident in the experience, so the more webcams we can get testing on, the better," Microsoft's Josh Stein said. If you're not an Insider already, you can always join by downloading the appropriate app from the Store on your Xbox One.