A couple months ago, reports emerged saying YouTube was going after Twitch, in that it wanted to make YouTube Live a premier destination for video game streaming. When asked for comment, YouTube famously sent out a GIF of a girl shrugging, as if to say who? us? I dunnooooo? Also as if to say we now respond to press inquiries with GIFs, so there’s that.
Anyway, it looks like YouTube is making a move to court live streamers – including those with a focus on gaming.
YouTube has announced that its live streaming platform now supports 60 FPS 1080p and 720p. YouTube first debuted the 60fps option on regular videos last October. Not only that, but it sports an HTML5 player. Twitch still uses Flash.
That HTML5 player will let viewers “skip backward in a stream while it’s live and watch at 1.5x or 2x speed to catch back up.”
As for lag? From Ars Technica:
We’ve also gotten word that this change won’t affect YouTube’s streaming latency significantly, and that YouTube is “working to bring latency down and [is] making good progress.” Currently we estimate there is about 30-60 seconds of lag time on YouTube’s platform, which makes the streamer’s interactions with chat a little awkward.
For now, the new live streaming features are only on desktop but that could change in the coming weeks.
Amazon completed its acquisition of Twitch in September of 2014. The price of that deal was $970 million. Before that, Google was in serious talks to acquire the game streaming platform itself, reportedly preparing a $1 billion offer. Reports indicated that Google backed out due to antitrust concerns. But just because YouTube lost out on online gaming’s current most-popular streaming platform doesn’t mean it’s going to lose focus on a booming up-and-comer.