Beam, the video game streaming service that Microsoft purchased last year is rolling out its new Xbox One app to select members of the Xbox Insider program today. Beam co-founder Matt Salsamendi made the announcement today on Xbox Wire, explaining that the app is already pretty much full-featured:
Starting today, the Beam app gives select Xbox Insider members the ability to watch, chat, and interact with their favorite game streamers in near real-time, just as we’ve done on the web. You’ll also be able to browse, search and follow your favorite game streams, as well as earn Sparks and Experience Points (XP) while viewing.
If you’re not familiar with it, Beam aims to push video game streaming to the next level by providing a low-latency technology to streamers and some interactive features to the audience (using the in-app currency called Sparks). If you’ve never tried the service before, you’ll be able to login on the Xbox One Beam app with your Xbox Live account and your Xbox Live gamertag will become your Beam username.
To be clear, Xbox One users won’t need the app to stream games: to do that, you just have to open the Xbox Guide, scroll down to the broadcast icon and then select “Broadcast your game.” For now, game streaming is only available for Xbox One Insiders and Windows Insiders (through the Game Bar). You can see how it works in the video below:
The Xbox One Beam app will be available to all Xbox One users later this Spring once the Creators Update rolls out to everyone. Salsamendi declined to say if a Windows 10 UWP app was also in the works, but the Beam website has just been revamped and works really well.
Could Microsoft push game streaming to the mainstream with Beam? “There are a lot of neat possibilities, and we’re eager to see how gamers continue to use Beam’s interactive capabilities,” explained Salsamendi. “We’ll have more share on this front at GDC 2017, so stay tuned,” he added.