YouTube’s dedicated service for gamers, YouTube Gaming, is finally set to launch later today after it was first announced back in June. The site is looking to steal the crown away from Twitch to become the number one place for all game-related videos.
YouTube owner Google had originally intended to acquire Twitch for $1 billion last year, but sources say the company backed off after potential antitrust concerns came to light. This allowed Amazon to step in three months later and snap up the game streaming site, leaving Google to develop its own service.
YouTube Gaming will be similar to Twitch in that it will allow fans to watch gaming livestreams, although it will also offer a DVR-like ability to rewind live broadcasts; a feature lacking on Twitch and something e-sports fans will likely appreciate.
The service automatically collects all gaming-related videos, as well as livestreams, on individual pages for more than 25,000 different games. A beta dashboard is also being launched that allows easier streaming, using HTML5 and without the need to schedule an event ahead of time. A personal URL will also be provided that can be used to share all of a user’s streams. Much like YouTube, users will be able to subscribe to pages and channels, and will receive notifications and recommendations based on past views, habits and preferences.
"Together, we all make gaming better," said Frank Petterson, engineering manager for YouTube Gaming. "Our peers make us better gamers, and games are made better by the communities that surround them.”
Google is launching the service as a website and on mobile devices. The YouTube Gaming app will be rolling out on Google Play and the App Store later today, but will only be available in the US and UK with other countries “coming soon,” according to Google.
YouTube Gaming still faces a mammoth task to unseat Twitch; the game streaming website hit a record 2 million concurrent viewers over the weekend, and the company will likely reveal several updates to its service at the inaugural TwitchCon taking place in San Francisco in September.