Xbox Insider Program members can now watch gamers play Xbox and Windows games from anywhere in the world, thanks to the launch of Microsoft’s new Beam app.
Beam, which allows people to livestream their games online while viewers interact and play along with them, will be available on Xbox One, Windows 10 PC, iOS and Android.
The app will initially be available for anyone who signed up to the Insider Program, before rolling out to the masses in spring.
Beam viewers can browse, search and follow their favourite streamers, and can even interact with them using Sparks and XP – both of which can also be used to unlock new emotes, get XP boosters and more. For every minute viewers watch a stream, they earn two Sparks, while 10 XP is earned for every five minutes watching a stream. Live feeds themselves can be started quickly and easily through the Guide on Xbox One or the Game Bar on Windows 10 PCs.
The popularity of videogame streaming has exploded in recent years. Streaming video accounts for more than two-thirds of all internet traffic, and according to Cisco’s June 2016 Visual Networking Index report, this is expected to climb to 82% by 2020. Live mobile video is set to grow 39-fold from 2016 to 2021, and will represent 5% of total mobile video traffic within five years, Cisco added.
Microsoft purchased Beam in August last year, and upgraded the service earlier this year to add streams with up to 1440p resolution at 60Hz and integration with Xbox Live. Beam has also announced its partnership with Proper Productions – a group of eight YouTubers – who will stream games online in a regular slot.
If you want to link your Xbox Live account to Beam, launch the app, and you’ll be asked if you already have a Beam account. If you do, you’ll receive a code to enter on the Beam website, which will then automatically link both accounts. If you don’t already have a Beam account, your Xbox Live Gamertag will automatically become your Beam username.
For PC gamers on Windows 10, go to your account settings on Beam.pro and click “Link to your Microsoft Account”.
For more information please visit the original Xbox Wire post.