Steam Broadcasting Now In Beta, Will Compete With Twitch

Valve Software announced on Tuesday that Steam Broadcasting has entered beta. This service allows players to livestream their gameplay for other members in the Steam community and the general public. However, the catch is that Steam gamers will need to install the beta build of the Steam Client to livestream their gameplay.

"When you see a friend in game, simply click on 'Watch Game' from their profile or from the Steam Client Friend's List to open a window into their gameplay -- no game ownership, special fees, or additional apps required," said a company news update.

To get the Beta client, Steam users can go to the main menu, select "Settings," select "Account" and change the "Beta Participation" option to "Steam Beta Update." This client updates a lot, but it's also a cool way to check out new features before they're finalized and go live for the masses.

According to the FAQ, games can be watched through the Steam client, Google's Chrome browser and Apple's Safari browser. Public broadcasts will be listed on the "Broadcasts" tab on the Community Home page as well as the game's hub.

The FAQ shows that users can actually decide who can watch the game. Once someone requests permission to watch, the Steam user is presented with a privacy settings window containing several options: allow anyone to watch, allow only friends, allow only people that the user invites, or allow only friends that must send a request to watch.

The FAQ also provides a list of things broadcasters are not allowed to stream including inappropriate or offensive content, copyrighted material, threats, talks about cheating and piracy, racism, abusive language, advertising, selling and more. Steam users are encouraged to report offensive Broadcasters by selecting the "Report Broadcast" option.

The company warns that the Broadcast service may suffer connection problems during the beta, and that the Broadcast capability will be offered as a "first-come, first-served" basis. Streaming issues will likely stem from the nearest Steam server's inability to provide adequate bandwidth at this time. These issues will likely be resolved before the service comes out of beta.

Unfortunately, Steam Broadcasting only works on Windows 7 and Windows 8 for now. Customers using Linux, OS X and Windows Vista will see this service added to their client at a later date.

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  • dovah-chan
    welp rip in pieces twitch
  • Altheran
    GG Twitch :P
  • clonazepam
    That's awesome! Twitch people partnered with Amazon just in time! (Take that money and run, enjoy life!)
  • TechyInAZ
    I've tried it, both hosting and watching streams and it works pertty well with peeps that have good internet connections. however, the broadcast takes a HUGE hit with peeps that have low upload speeds who are broadcasting.

    And of course it takes good computers, i broadcasted on my i5 dual core system and i did take a big hit on fps, so just lower the quality and bit rate on the broadcasting settings as low as possible.
  • jazzy663
    Ah, man. Well, I have mixed feelings about this. I'm always happy to see a new feature added to Steam, but I just don't know about this. It seems like everyone wants to jump on the livestreaming bandwagon lately. It's hard to tell whether or not this'll get off the ground. Steam has a loyal userbase, but Twitch is really popular too. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.
  • dstarr3
    I'll miss Twitch. :-(
  • SinxarKnights
    Unless they offer monetization services (i.e subscriptions, in stream ads etc), Twitch will live for a long time.
  • oyoy
    'ShadowPlay > Stream to Twitch' is my best friend.
  • Christopher1
    welp rip in pieces twitch
    Maybe not. Twitch can be used on consoles. I doubt that this will be able to be used on consoles.
  • xyriin
    I find the RIP and goodbye Twitch comments amusing. While this has streaming capability the options are severely limited and the streamers that account for the majority of the views on Twitch don't have the tools they need with Steam. Right now this is about like watching a LoL game via the client, a nice feature but nothing more.