It’s no secret that gaming-based videos are incredibly popular on YouTube. Previously reported numbers indicate that over 364 billion views have been garnered from gaming clips (through the end of last year) and 15 percent of the site’s overall content is devoted, in some way, to games. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the company has just announced its own gaming portal, in an attempt to compete with the highly popular streaming channel Twitch.
During an event today held at the YouTube Space in Los Angeles, the company has announced a new portal called YouTube Gaming, which will be supported through both a website and a mobile app. With it, it’s intent on putting YouTube’s gaming content in one convenient place, with over 25,000 games featured on their own devoted pages.
In addition, users will be able to customize their virtual gaming space by choosing favorites and putting them in a “collection,” so they can be alerted when new trailers, Let’s Play clips or other relevant content tied in with that game is uploaded. The search engine for YouTube Gaming will also be modified, so users can find the games they’re looking for right away, instead of sifting through non-gaming related content.
Most importantly, YouTube Gaming will focus on streaming content, which will put it head-to-head against Twitch. It’ll be one of the initial options that appears on the app or the website when it’s pulled up, with options to view at 60fps where supported, as well as reminders, so users can automatically share a link when a live stream is happening.
The company has a fair share of broadcasters and video creators to its credit, but at this point, it still has a lot to prove on the live-streaming front — especially considering how well Twitch is getting things done over on its network. With YouTube Gaming, it’s a step in the right direction, but now it’s a matter of simply seeing how effective it is.
One step in that direction will come next week at E3, where YouTube will be partnering up with GameTrailers personality Geoff Keighley and a number of others for live coverage from the Electronic Entertainment Expo event in Los Angeles. The Google-owned broadcaster has already set up a devoted channel for the event, and already has a number of exclusives in place for its broadcast, starting Monday. These include an exclusive game reveal from the developers at Platinum Games, as well as a first look at gameplay from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5, hosted by the veteran skateboarder himself, Tony Hawk.
Twitch welcomed YouTube’s entry into the game-streaming arena with a bit of snark: