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Built-in game streaming is coming to Windows 10

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Microsoft has unveiled plans to offer built-in videogame streaming in Windows 10. It won't come through Twitch, though, but rather with Beam, "an innovative and interactive livestreaming service" the company acquired (opens in new tab) in August. As reported by Ars Technica, the option will be added to the "game bar" that's already a part of Windows 10 Xbox app. 

Beam promises two big advantages over other livestreaming applications: Very low latency, which improves the interactivity between streamers and audiences, and "experience point" rewards for viewers that can be used on things like customization options or streamer voting. 

"By bringing Beam to Xbox, we’re creating more interactive gaming experiences for both the player and the viewer on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, allowing you to watch live game streams and give you the ability to interact in real time with broadcasters," Microsoft said on the Xbox Wire (opens in new tab). "Best of all, Beam technology will be built right into Windows 10 and Xbox One, so anyone can become a game broadcaster." 

We're not exactly drowning in detail here, but the Xbox Wire post does state that the Beam service will work with "any game," so it's not just for cross-play releases. But it also sounds like it will be a Windows 10-only affair, which at least for now would exclude an awful lot of gamers. That could be a real sticking point: Simplicity and smoothness are great, but I can't imagine that it will be enough to convince streamers to leave behind a large chunk of their potential audiences. 

More information will no doubt be released as the update approaches, but for now you can find out more about how the Beam service works at

Andy Chalk
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.