The price and potential regulatory pressure may have been too much for Google to acquire Twitch last year, but the search engine company announced last June that it had found another way to dive deeper in the market for streaming video games. That product, YouTube Gaming, is expected to arrive this week—Hey, Twitch, Player 2 just joined!
YouTube Gaming will serve as the hub for YouTube's back catalog of Let's Play, walkthrough video reviews, speedruns, level cappers, and the like. Along with the old content, YouTube is making live streaming simpler so that YouTube Gaming can go at Twitch's core.
The hub—available on desktop, Android and iOS—will be home to dedicated pages for over 25,000 games, Alan Joyce, a YouTube product manager, said in a blog post back in June.
Viewers can follow individual games and they can subscribe to streamers' channels. YouTube Gaming will notify them when subscribed streams start broadcasting. YouTube Gaming's search and recommendations also have a gaming tilt, Joyce revealed.
"Uncover new favorites with recommendations based on the games and channels you love. And when you want something specific, you can search with confidence, knowing that typing 'call' will show you 'Call of Duty' and not 'Call Me Maybe,'" stated Joyce.
YouTube Gaming will leverage several recent additions to YouTube proper, such as the current gold standard for video game frame rate, 60 fps, and improved content creation tools.
In addition to those features, "We're redesigning our system so that you no longer need to schedule a live event ahead of time," said Joyce. "We're also creating single link you can share for all your streams."
There's about a month left in the summer, and this is the season Joyce said gamers should expect YouTube Gaming to launch in the U.S. and UK.
The Verge and VentureBeat seem to think YouTube Gaming will launch today. Neither will share where the tip came from, but a curious beating heart on YouTube Gaming's website and Twitter account suggest that something has come to life:
— YouTube Gaming (@YouTubeGaming) August 25, 2015