Microsoft Releases Game Streaming App to Xbox One Insider Members

Members of the Xbox Insider program now have access to Microsoft’s Beam App. In addition to allowing users to broadcast live streams of their gameplay, Beam will also enable users to watch and communicate with each other.

What is Microsoft Beam?

The app will be available to Xbox users this spring 2017. Xbox users can browse game streams and earn “Sparks,” which is an in-app currency that allows viewers to unlock new features including emojis, experience points and more. Sparks will also illustrate how often users watch others playing video games. For example, one minute of watching another user’s gameplay will earn you two Sparks and every five minutes looking at a stream an Xbox user can earn 10 XP.

Matt Salsamendi, the co-founder of Beam, published a statement about the release of Beam saying:

“The popularity of game streaming has exploded in the past few years, and Beam is unique in that it not only lets gamers broadcast or watch their favorite streams, but Beam also gives streamers and viewers the ability to interact and play along together – it’s pretty cool,” Salsamendi explained.

“Starting today, the Beam app gives select Xbox Insider members the ability to watch, chat, and interact with their favorite game streamers in near real-time, just as we’ve done on the web,” Salsamendi added.

MILAN, ITALY – OCTOBER 14: People play at Games Week 2016, event dedicated to video games and electronic entertainment on OCTOBER 14, 2016 in Milan. (Tinxi / Shutterstock, Inc.)

Microsoft reports that games such as Minecraft, Forza Horizon 3 and Halo 5: Guardians has seen a lot of interaction between streamers and viewers.

What makes Beam different?

But, what makes Microsoft’s Beam different than other streaming platforms? Salsamendi says is the ability to interact and participate in the live stream. For example, any stream can include interactive features such as sound boards.

To start using Beam, Xbox users can start streaming on Xbox One by pressing a button located in the Guide. Users can then manage their Beam broadcasts and interact with other gamers. You can also start streaming on a Windows 10 PC by pressing the Windows Key + G.

What about Twitch?

Microsoft Twitch
AUSTIN – MARCH 18. 2016: Live gaming company Twitch shows off its capabilities at the SXSW Gaming Conference. (stock_photo_world / Shutterstock, Inc.)

This news comes after Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, announced a plan to expand their business model. Instead of catering to live streams of gamers, Twitch is looking to take over the blogging sector with a new section called “IRL.” This way streamers can interact with their followers in real life experiences.