Amazon may have just felt a bit of a nervous Twitch with the latest announcement from Valve, who officially launched their Steam Broadcasting feature yesterday. Steam Broadcasting allows Steam users with the beta client to stream any game in their library either to their friends or a more general audience via a central broadcasting hub which is already seeing a number of public streams being made available.
At this moment you need a Steam account in order to view any stream, but having an integrated streaming client is going to have a massive impact on the accessibility of streaming for a wider PC audience. What’s interesting is that any of your friends can choose to start watching your game at any time regardless of whether or not you actually want to broadcast, which could be dangerous if you’ve, say, loaded — uuuuuh — custom UI and texture mods for Skyrim, but apparently you’ll be able to set your privacy setting the first time anyone wants to tune into your activities.
Twitch’s open accessibility and existing userbase remain a huge advantage as the incumbent streaming king, but this is definitely a shot over the bow from Valve. Twitch was recently bought by Amazon for close to $1 billion, which speaks to game streaming’s growth potential and popularity.
Source: Ars Technica