Xbox One ‘Beam’ Game Streaming App Arrives For Insiders To Challenge Twitch Dominance
A couple of weeks ago, we reported on Beam hitting Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 15019, and now, those who have access to the Xbox One Insider Preview should be able to boot their console up and take almost immediate advantage of the same feature (an update will be necessary first, of course).
Beam is of course Microsoft's solution for taking on the Goliath that is Twitch.tv. With it, players can watch their favorite Xbox or Windows-derived streams on the same platforms, in addition to Android and iOS (apps existed for those platforms before Microsoft acquired Beam last year).
When Beam is loaded on the Xbox One, you'll be greeted to a dashboard that, on the surface, is quite similar to Twitch. You can chat, use emotes, and even earn reputation through XP and "Sparks". XP is earned as you watch streams, so if you are really hardcore about it, others will know. Sparks are used to interact with streamers, purchase new emotes, and buy XP boosters.
Interestingly, Microsoft notes that at the upcoming Game Developers Conference, which will be held in just over a week in San Francisco, it will have more to share about its Beam initiative.
One thing that becomes glaringly obvious with the release of Beam on Xbox One is that keyboard and mouse support would be really useful. It's been promised several times already, and Microsoft is still committed to delivering the feature it at some point - but what better time than right now to finally usher in that support? Chatting with a gamepad is all sorts of maddening except for the simplest of messages. Hey Cortana, can you throw us a bone here?
If you're part of the Xbox Insider Preview, you should be able to update right away. If you do, let us know what you think of Beam so far!