Game streaming service Twitch has yet another competitor: Steam Broadcasting is now live for all of Steam’s 100 million+ users according to some recently-published Update Notes for Valve’s game client.
We wrote about it back in December, but back then it was only made available to people who opted into Steam’s beta programme, allowing Valve to test and fixed it if necessary.
As of right now, every single Steam gamer can use it to show off their gaming prowess to anyone that cares to watch, right from within the Steam client. All they need to do is configure their preferences in the new Broadcasting section within Steam’s settings, giving them control over who can see their stream and the quality of the video being broadcast.
That’s handy for people with limited internet connections, as high-quality video streams can hog a lot of bandwidth and impact heavily on response times to online servers.
Unfortunately the new capability is not going to be called Stwitch as we had hoped here at the htxt.africa offices; that’s a missed opportunity to my mind, but then Valve’s lawyers probably disagree.
The only new addition to the Broadcasting settings section is the appearance of a status indicator that says if you’re broadcasting, and a link to Steam’s help pages on the subject.
This is the second time in as many weeks a new service has surfaced to challenge Twitch.tv’s dominance in the streaming arena; the last was DailyMotion Games, a new service created by French internet portal DailyMotion.com that we reported on last week.
But where Steam has a big advantage is that streaming is built directly into its game client, making it as easy as humanly possible to stream games without wiring the functionality into a telepathic thought-receiver that makes it happen automatically.
What do you think about the idea? Firstly, are you regularly streaming your gaming sessions, and secondly if you are will you be ditching Twitch for either DailyMotion or Steam? Or are Twitch’s incentives and its ease of use enough to keep you from jumping ship?