Microsoft acquires interactive streaming specialist Beam

August 12, 2016 // 10:42 a.m.

Tags: #acquisition #beam #chad-gibson #interactive-streaming #livestreaming #live-streaming #microsoft #streaming #xbox #xbox-one

Microsoft's Xbox division is getting new streaming functionality, thanks to the company's acquisition of interactive live-streaming specialist Beam.

Like its rival, Sony's PlayStation 4, Microsoft's Xbox One has long had live-streaming functionality, allowing gamers to broadcast game footage to viewers without the need for additional hardware or software. Microsoft has been slowly expanding on the concept, too, beginning with the ability to stream gameplay footage to a Windows 10 device for remote play and now including the acquisition for an undisclosed sum of interactive livestreaming specialist Beam.

'Bringing Beam, their award-winning team and their inventive technology into the Xbox family supports our ongoing commitment to make Xbox Live more social and fun,' claimed Microsoft's Chad Gibson of the deal in the official announcement. 'Using “Minecraft” as one example, with Beam you don’t just watch your favourite streamer play, you play along with them. You can give them new challenges and make real-time choices that affect their gameplay, from tool selection to quests to movement; all through simple visual controls. In the highly anticipated “Sea of Thieves,” which is all about emergent adventures in a shared world, you can watch the drama play out between different crews from multiple player perspectives.'

Beam's interactive features are, the company is quick to point out, designed to work with any game. Thus far, Microsoft has given no indication that it plans to change this by locking it down to first-party titles.
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