Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

Microsoft's Twitch competitor, Beam, gets a major update

'Beam 2.0' has a brand new home page and player, improved video quality and Xbox Live sign-ins.
766 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Microsoft said it was about to supercharge Beam, and it's quickly following through on that promise. After a few weeks of beta testing, the livestreaming service's big 2.0 overhaul is now available to everyone. The most conspicuous change is what you'll see the moment you hop in. There's a revamped home page that can feature multiple streams and show more info about a broadcaster's communities. Also, you'll notice a revamped, HTML5-only player that touts better video-on-demand controls, playback at higher bitrates (up to 10Mbps) and higher resolutions (1440p at 60 frames per second, anyone?). However, some of the biggest improvements are under the hood.

To begin with, you now have the choice of signing in with your Xbox Live (really, Microsoft) account -- and it'll eventually be mandatory. This could create hassles for streamers who'd prefer to keep their Beam and Microsoft accounts separate, but the team is counting on Xbox Live's features winning you over in the long run. It'll help out with built-in Beam streaming on Windows 10 and the Xbox One down the road, of course, but it'll reportedly help out with two-factor authentication, moderation and other aspects of the service.

On top of that, you should also see much faster site loading (up to 5 times faster, Beam claims) and visuals, a better viewing experience on the mobile web, and a slicker chat experience that includes emote auto-completion. You'll have to wait until later in the year for Xbox One support and new mobile apps, but serious streamers who use XSplit will be glad to hear that a beta release now plays nicely with Beam's low-delay streaming (FTL) as well, just as OBS has for a while.

We'd note that things appear a bit rough at the outset. Don't be surprised if you run into a broken feature or two. However, you do have the option of rolling back to the previous interface if you dive into your account settings.

Will the overhaul convince Twitch die-hards to switch over by itself? Probably not -- the temptation to stick with the community you know can be quite strong. It shows that Beam and Microsoft are committed to making their service a force to be reckoned with, however, and it's laying some important groundwork for Microsoft's big gaming initiatives this year.

[Thanks, Kristy]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
766 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Nintendo's SNES-style Switch controllers are now available

Nintendo's SNES-style Switch controllers are now available

View
Mazda will show off its first EV at the Tokyo Motor Show

Mazda will show off its first EV at the Tokyo Motor Show

View
US Senators ask the FCC to review licenses with China-owned telecoms

US Senators ask the FCC to review licenses with China-owned telecoms

View
Verizon could carry OnePlus phones beginning in 2020

Verizon could carry OnePlus phones beginning in 2020

View
Pokémon’s New York-inspired monsters join 'Pokémon Go' today

Pokémon’s New York-inspired monsters join 'Pokémon Go' today

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr