Watch Out, Twitch: YouTube Gaming Set to Launch with Upgraded Live-Streaming Feature

Google’s YouTube is poised to take on Twitch — the live-streaming videogame company it tried to buy before Amazon snapped it up last year — with the public launch of a dedicated gaming destination and enhanced live-broadcasting tool.

The Internet-video giant plans to launch YouTube Gaming on Wednesday, comprising more than 25,000 game pages and channels, providing users personalized gaming recommendations based on the games and channels they follow. YouTube has been beta-testing the service with several thousand users for the last several months.

YouTube Gaming, to be available initially only in the U.S. and the U.K., automatically pulls in all gaming-related videos and live streams from YouTube related to a specific title.

YouTube Gaming will be available on the web (at gaming.youtube.com) as well as for Android devices from Google Play and iOS via Apple’s iTunes.

About a year ago, YouTube reached a preliminary deal to acquire Twitch for around $1 billion, before Amazon.com clinched a deal to buy the company for about the same price tag.

According to Google, the new live-streaming service makes it easier to broadcast gameplay video. It supports streaming of up to 60 frames per second, and automatically converts live streams into an on-demand YouTube videos.

Twitch claims it currently has 1.5 million individual broadcasters on its service, and has partnerships with 11,000 channels. The service has some 100 million viewers per month who watch 106 minutes per person per day on average, while the Twitch mobile app has been downloaded and installed 38 million times.

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