Microsoft Beam Game Streaming Service Rebranded To ‘Mixer’ And Adds Compelling New Features

microsoft mixer
Microsoft’s Beam game streaming service was just formally integrated into Windows 10 with the Creators Update last month, but the company is already rebranding the service. Beam launched in January 2016, and was acquired by Microsoft in August of that year.

A real clear reason wasn’t given for the name change, but Beam Mixer co-founder and Engineering Lead Matt Salsamendi stated, “This was a tough decision, and not one that we made lightly. We believe so much in the power of the platform and want to grow it in every major market around the world.

“Unfortunately, that wasn’t something we could do with the Beam name.  We chose Mixer as our new name because it represents what we love most about the service….how it brings people together.”

microsoft mixer 2

Things would be pretty boring if a name change was all that Microsoft had to announce today, but luckily the company is also revealing some new functionality for the service. The first is co-streaming, which allows multiple game streams to be viewed from a single Mixer page. Everyone will have access to co-streaming, with Salsamendi describing, “You and up to three other friends can deliver a stream that combines separate stream sources into one shared “split-screen” view, including a centralized chat experience.”

Microsoft has also announced Mixer Create, which is launching in beta for iOS and Android (sorry, Windows 10 Mobile users). This app will allow you to broadcast your mobile games on-the-go. Channel One is a new moderated channel that will give gamers access to a curated stream of content that is taking place across the service “including big title releases, livestream events, tips and tricks [and] eSports updates.”

Finally, there is a new Mixer page that is launching today for the Xbox One dashboard. Unfortunately, the only gamers that will have access to this functionality initially are those that are part of the Xbox Insider program.

To prove Mixer’s worth, Microsoft says that it will be broadcasting its Xbox E3 briefing live via the service in silky smooth, high-quality 4K Ultra HD. There will also be digital goodies for those that watch the broadcast via Mixer. While the Mixer E3 stream is no doubt an expected development, we have the feeling that the only thing on gamers’ minds will be the unveil of Project Scorpio, which is Microsoft’s high-powered counterpart to the current Xbox One S.

Microsoft is definitely trying to make Mixer a compelling alternative to competitors like Twitch and YouTube, and the company is seemingly off to a good start.