Xbox gaming gets social with Beam

If you’re an Xbox fan, broadcasting your gameplay is about to get a whole lot more interactive as Microsoft buys Beam livestreaming platform. Find out more…

19 Aug 2016


Xbox Beam Gaming

Do you enjoy watching your favourite gamers like PewDiePie live stream their gameplay? Maybe you’ve even set up your own live streaming channel and you’re looking to build your following.

There’s good news if you’re an Xbox gamer – broadcasting your gameplay or watching others is about to get a lot more social. That’s because Microsoft is acquiring Beam, a live streaming service that lets you watch and interact with other players in real-time. 

So what can you expect when the two forces join? Read on for more about Beam…


Interactive live streaming with Beam 

Not heard of Beam before? The platform has been around since January this year – and has already amassed a 100,000-strong community of gamers

Beam is different to other live streaming platforms such as YouTube Gaming and Twitch. It gives you more ways of interacting with your favourite streamer, rather than just commenting or chatting while they play. 

It’s designed to work with any game, and takes streaming from something you sit back and watch to an experience you can participate in – all in real-time.

With it you can influence how the game pans out by setting the player challenges and making decisions that affect their gameplay, such as:

  • Choosing their tools in an adventure game or weapon for a first-person shooter
  • Setting quests and challenges for them to complete – and earning goals yourself during interactive live streams
  • Alter the way they move around the game itself

Up until now you’ve been able to use Beam for mobile gaming or on your TV with Apple TV or Chromecast. Pairing with Xbox will open it up to console gamers as well.


Xbox Live and Beam – how will it work? 

So why is Xbox acquiring Beam? It’s all part of the company’s plans to make its Xbox Live platform more social and fun for gamers.

In a blog post, the company said Beam would give users more freedom to enjoy a new type of multiplayer gaming – and reckons it’s perfect for games like Minecraft and the upcoming Sea of Thieves.

In Minecraft for example, you can play along with your favourite streamer, set them challenges and choose different tools for them to use and quests to follow.

Sea of Thieves is one of the most hotly anticipated Xbox games set for release, and could be even more exciting when paired with Beam’s livestreaming features. It’s set in a shared world – so the possibilities for watching the action from different player perspectives are vast.

And Xbox has hinted you’ll be able to use Beam on multiple devices too. That means it could potentially work with Xbox Play Anywhere, which lets you play games across platforms on your Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.

Find out more about Xbox Play Anywhere

Worried it’ll slow down your gameplay? You needn’t be. Beam’s been optimised so that streams have less than a second of delay, making real-time interaction incredibly easy, while live-loading titles and backgrounds, and pre-loaded chat ensure it runs smoothly.


What about if you already use Beam? 

Not much will change for existing users – Beam will continue to offer broadcasts for iOS and Android devices. The only difference is that with Xbox integration you’ll get some cool new features, and the chance to interact with a brand new community of gamers from Xbox Live. 

Co-founder and CEO of Beam, Matt Salsamendi, said: ‘As part of Xbox, we’ll be able to scale faster than we’ve ever been able to before. We’re expanding the team, bolstering our infrastructure, and most importantly, continuing to grow and support the amazing community at Beam.’

Fancy giving Beam a go? Get the Xbox One