We're living in the streaming era. Just look at the fame Tyler "Ninja" Blevins has attracted over the last year by playing Fortnite day in and day out: he broke streaming records by playing with Drake, was on the cover (opens in new tab) of ESPN Magazine and made an appearance on Ellen. He's a bonafide celebrity, and countless people think streaming could make them famous too. Companies have started to realize they can take advantage of streaming's rise by catering to people broadcasting their gameplay. Corsair bought Elgato, Logitech acquired Blue Microphones and Razer introduced the Ifrit headset, all so they could tap into a growing market. Now, Streamlabs and Intel have done the same with today's announcement of their partnership with various system makers for PCs that come streaming-ready.
Anyone who's spent more than a few minutes on Twitch and other streaming platforms is probably familiar with Streamlabs. The company originally started with various widgets that make it easy for streamers to display alerts for donations, subscriptions and the like. It also offers Streamlabs OBS, a free broadcasting app said to offer better performance and more features than OBS, even though it's currently only available in beta form.
Streamlabs also offers mobile apps, custom merch sales and other tools for streamers. It's no wonder, then, that it decided to branch out into the hardware side of things via this partnership with Intel. The company said in its announcement today that the companies are working with Shuttle, SimplyNUC, Zotac and Acer on systems that come with Streamlabs OBS and various streaming-related optimizations pre-installed.
The company said it's "quality testing performance before each device goes to market and affixing its seal of approval in the form of a Streamlabs badge on the outside of certified devices." It's also working with Intel to optimize the Quick-Sync-Video encoder to work with Streamlabs OBS and "automatically import optimal settings to provide quality bit-rate, audio, resolution and FPS." This is as close to plug-and-play streaming as it gets.
“At Intel, we view live streamers as creators, and we are committed to working alongside industry leaders like Streamlabs to build technologies and solutions that power their contributions,” said Chris Silva, General Manager of the Desktop Product Group at Intel. “By powering these new PCs, we not only help streamers easily share their creativity, but we enhance the viewer experience to allow them to consume, personalize and interact with their favorite live streamers."
Streamlabs plans to show off some of these devices, including a concept PC from Acer that was custom-designed for optimal streaming, at TwitchCon 2018. The annual convention is being held from October 26-28 in San Jose, and with many high-profile streamers converging in one place, it makes sense for Streamlabs to publicize its expansion into hardware at the event. More details will be available via its website.