Android users will soon be able to stream their mobile games live on YouTube Gaming, the new video game streaming service launched by YouTube in a bid to attract the millions of gamers it lost to Twitch.
The Google-owned video sharing website made the announcement at the Tokyo Games Show in Japan. Not a lot of details were shared about exactly how game livestreaming will be done on Android.
Ryan Wyatt, YouTube Gaming global head, said the functionality will become available to all Android smartphones without requiring users to download additional apps or hardware. Users will also be able to include video from the smartphone's selfie cam and audio from the microphone in their livestream. His team is also working with the folks on Google Play to create a record-and-upload feature that will be integrated directly into Google Play Games.
"It will be super simple so that anyone can stream from any Android device anywhere in the world," Wyatt said [video].
Unfortunately, Wyatt did not provide information on when we could expect Android game livestreaming to roll out to mobile devices. He only said that the feature was "coming soon."
At the same time, YouTube announced that it will be launching YouTube Gaming in Japan, where the app will be made available to Android and iOS devices.
"Japan's mobile games define its gaming culture, far more so than in other countries," says Wyatt in a statement. "This trend shows there's a real need for gamers to easily share what's on their screen with the gaming community."
While Android titles are not considered hard-core games in the North American market, mobile gaming is a big hit in Japan, and it seems YouTube wants to capitalize on the Japanese market to expand the capabilities of YouTube Gaming and more aggressively compete with market-leading game-streaming service Twitch.
YouTube Gaming was launched in the United States and United Kingdom in August as a direct competitor to Amazon's Twitch, which has just announced its audience number had surpassed the 200 million mark. Although YouTube Gaming has a long way to go before it can catch up, it does have the backing of a video behemoth that has the advantage of hosting thousands of gaming-focused channels that allowed it to provide lots of content at launch.