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Xbox One’s big Beam broadcasting update starts rolling out

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Microsoft is rolling out major improvements to its Xbox One console today, and that includes a new way to share your gameplay live on the company’s video service.

Xbox One’s “Creators” update is leaving beta and bringing a number of upgrades to everyone who owns the console. This patch speeds up the system’s interface, introduces the new Guide user experience, and incorporates Beam livestreaming for the console — the Windows 10 version of the Creators update is coming April 11. I’ve already experimented with an early version of this update, and I came away impressed with the responsiveness. But since then, I’ve also played around with broadcasting gameplay to Beam. Microsoft has made that work much easier than it ever did with the Twitch app, and this could introduce a massive audience to the livestreaming service that Microsoft acquired in August.

In addition to Beam broadcasting, Xbox One is also getting an app for viewing Beam content. This will enable more people to find the broadcasters on that platform, which should help it compete with Twitch and YouTube — the dominant forces in this space. Beam has already separated itself with its ultra-low latency that almost completely eliminates the delay between when you do something in a game and when your audience sees it. Now, Microsoft is making every effort to give more people the opportunity to easily use that technology.

“This update is part of our goal to make Beam something that more people experience,” Beam partner group manager Chad Gibson told GamesBeat. “We think the ultra-low latency tech is really exciting, and so bringing Beam to more of our platforms is something that will help our service grow.”

Of course, Microsoft isn’t going to stop at bringing Beam to Xbox One. The service’s technology and integration with the Xbox One make it an ideal platform for enabling interactions between players and broadcasters. And Microsoft is intent on taking advantage of those possibilities

“This will allow games to be built where the viewing audience is taken into consideration and part of the game session itself,” said Gibson. “All of that will further push interactivity, and it’s what we’re planning to do more of.”

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