YouTube Gaming Launches Today As Google Takes Direct Aim At Twitch

Few would disagree that YouTube dominates the online streaming video scene, and with that kind of foundation in place, Google sees an opportunity to expand into gaming. No, not as a game developer, but as an alternative to Twitch, the live streaming video game company that it tried to acquire last year before Amazon swooped in with a $970 million bid.

Called YouTube Gaming, the new venture is set to launch later today, according to Variety. If previous information holds true, it will consist of more than 25,000 game pages and channels at launch in the U.S. and U.K. These pages and channels will give gamers access to videos and live streams of their favorite titles, along with specific and personalized recommendations based on the ones they choose to follow.

YouTube Gaming Notified

Google has been putting the pieces in places for this launch for some time now. For example, Google added support for 60 FPS 1080p and 720p live video streaming for "silky smooth playback for gaming" earlier this year, along with full HTML5 playback.

"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 said at the time.

YouTube Gaming

This could be huge, though don't expect Twitch to fold up shop -- the service is sitting strong with 1.5 million broadcasters and has partnerships with 11,000 channels. The end result is 100 million views per month.

When it launches later today, YouTube gaming will be available on the web and also in Google Play (Android) and iTunes (iOS).