Nearly a year ago, Amazon managed to snatch away from Google what seemed be a surefire acquisition target: Twitch. Amazon purchased the incredibly popular game streaming service for $970 million and has done its best to help the service thrive amidst DDoS attacks, malware, and run-of-the-mill hackers.
Google may have lost out in its bid to acquire Twitch, but don’t think for one second that the Internet giant doesn’t have the resources to counterpunch with its own rival service. Today, Google announced that YouTube will add support for 60 FPS 1080p and 720p live video streaming to its repertoire.
If you still need further confirmation that Google is taking direct aim at Twitch, the company states that its 720p60 and 1080p60 transcoding will allow for “silky smooth playback for gaming” and adds, “we know high frame rates are especially important for gaming streams, so we’ve worked with Elgato and XSplit on new versions of Elgato Game Capture, XSplit Broadcaster, and XSplit Gamecaster that support 60 FPS live streaming to YouTube.”
Google is also adding a new “high frame rate flag” that will enable any app that uses its live streaming API to enable 60 FPS playback.
In another swipe at Twitch, which is still using Adobe Flash (ugh!), Google promises full HTML5 playback for its live streams. Adobe Flash may as well be called the devil in tech circles due to its numerous security vulnerabilities and notoriety when it comes to tearing through the batteries of each and every mobile device that it encounters. Variable speed playback using HTML5 will allow you to watch live streams at 1.5x or 2x speeds and even skip backwards if you missed something along the way.
For now, you will only be able to access 60 FPS live streaming via YouTube’s desktop site (mobile platforms are not currently supported), but Google promises that there is “plenty left to come” and that you should “stay tuned for more very soon.”