Microsoft wants you all to broadcast your gameplay and set up your own eSports tournaments, assuming it wants you to make use of the two features it just announced for Xbox Live at its event on the future of Windows.
Minecraft was at the centre of Microsoft’s presentation. If you’re a fan, check out our list of the best Minecraft mods.
The event ran for over two hours and discussed Microsoft’s ambitions to revolutionise both work and play. As part of this, a lot of time was spent on Windows 10 Creators – a new suite of 3D creation tools that will be rolled out in early 2017.
As it applies to gaming, the Creators update will add two notable new features to Microsoft’s Xbox Live app. Jenn McCoy, of Microsoft’s game studios, walked us through them.
The first is game broadcasting, which will be powered by technology from Beam, the livestreaming service Microsoft acquired in August.
Beam boasts a couple of features that set it apart from Twitch and the like, and aims to enhance interactivity between streamer and audience. Viewers can suggest what the streamer should do next at the click of a button, streamers can get an overlaid chat window with a real-time picture-in-picture of their broadcast, and Xbox Live will notify your friends when you start broadcasting.
Besides streaming, Microsoft will also add Custom Tournaments to Xbox Live, expanding the Arena platform first previewed last year. “We want to give gamers the ability to create their own tournaments and challenges,” McCoy said. Larry Hryb, Xbox Live’s director of programming, confirmed on Twitter that player-created tournaments are coming in 2017.
From the #MicrosoftEvent Gamer created tournaments in Arena are coming to Xbox Live in 2017
— / Larry Hryb / + 1m (@majornelson) 26 October 2016
With both streaming and tournaments, a premium is placed on convenience and accessibility for all: Microsoft is placing these features in everyone’s hands without the need to download additional software. With Microsoft’s ongoing efforts to bring Xbox and PC players together via Windows 10, these features should be available to anyone on PC running Microsoft’s latest operating system.
You can watch the webcast on-demand at Microsoft, and hear firsthand the announcement of a new line of affordable VR headsets.