A faster, more interactive streaming option is coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 early next year, Microsoft announced today. The platform will be powered by Beam technology, and on paper, it certainly sounds impressive.
Most people who watch or use Twitch knows about the 10-15 second delay a stream has from the point of recording to the point of playback. Beam technology reduces that to less than one second, meaning broadcasters can interact with their audience in near real-time. That's pretty handy, especially if, for example, you were watching one of our streams where we give away prizes. Less lag means less time for someone else to jump in line ahead of you.
There's also Beam's ability to make user input more accessible. Customizable button prompts can be placed into a Beam-powered stream, enabling a whole new generation of "Twitch Plays…" style games where users control the action.
The caveat is that Beam has not had to sustain the large volume of users that Twitch has. The tech is there, but will server strain cause it to buckle? If so, what sacrifices will be made? And perhaps most importantly, with many broadcasters already nestled into their platform of choice, will they be willing to move to a new service? It's an exciting bunch of questions to ponder, and should encourage competition to take notice.
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