Ever since Google and YouTube announced that they would be entering the live streaming arena and going head to head with the current streaming juggernaut, Twitch, I started wondering about what could they offer that would set the two apart. Obviously, YouTube has been putting the pieces in place for quite some time, regardless if they had planned out the YouTube Gaming platform or not; they got rid of their flash player and switched to an HTML5 player so that their application would work anywhere, they introduced 720p60 and 1080p60 playback into their player and even allow 1440p and 4k resolution videos.
Since they already had an impressive amount of features in place before the announcement, features that I feel Twitch should and will likely incorporate in the future, there are still several features that YouTube Gaming should add to make their service that more appealing to existing Twitch streamers and to attract both new and up-and-coming streamers/personalities.
So let’s going through my list of features or options what I want to see implemented or offered with YouTube’s upcoming gaming offering.
1. Higher bitrate options – If you stream on Twitch already or know someone who does, then you also know that Twitch enforces a 3500 kbps limit for streaming which causes HD (1080p) streams to look pixelated or blocky when you are streaming fast motion games. Giving the streamers the choice would be a welcome addition plus giving them access to a silky smooth 1080p @ 60 fps. Of course bandwidth is a key factor for both the streamer and those watching the stream so there would need to be a system in place that would automatically downgrade the stream if issues were detected or warn both the streamer and watchers of said stream about a degradation of the service.
2. Real-time messaging – While Twitch recently introduced an option to help with the delay of messages which is currently in beta, the issue still remains. I’ll admit that with that option on it does cut down on the time it took from people to send a message to me while I was streaming; however, it didn’t cut down the wait as much as I would like. The last time I streamed it only took 20 seconds for me to get the message vs. the 30-35 seconds it normally took. Some might not see it as a big deal; however, when I’m trying to have a conversation with other streamers or say they know something I don’t and are trying to tell me, I’d rather know about it before I die or progress past the point where their advice would be useless then. It also would help strengthen the relationship between the streamer and viewers.
3. Automatic delay enforcement – This is more for those who played team-based games or involved in tournaments. For example, a player fires up DOTA 2 or League of Legends, the service would detect it and automatically enable the delay help combat “Ghosting,” No more “I forgot to enable delay and now I got killed,” removing excuses for those who are heavily into streaming MOBAs or other competitive games.
4. Better application support – While Twitch has applications out for platforms such as iOS, Android, consoles, PCs & Mac, some of those applications are pretty limited for one reason of another. I can’t even stand the one on Android since I don’t have any option to search, not to mention issues with ads blocking videos (device specific) and lots of freezing when I’m trying watch videos. In fact it looks like YouTube is on the right track as there has been been good feedback on their Android application that attendees at E3 2015 got their hands on.
5. Promote new streamers and personalities – This is perhaps my biggest wish for YouTube’s Gaming service. There are literally thousands of people who stream everyday, some streams are damned good yet they don’t get many views or exposures due to people simply having set their favorite personalities already. That’s the nature of the game and I understand that completely; however, that doesn’t bode to well for those new streamer who eventually gives up – never to try again. I would love to see YouTube implement a service, either free or paid, that helps streamers below a specific threshold of viewers by promoting their streams or giving them priority. Going one step further, how about an option to watch established streamers or a section for the new guys? Or even a devoted section where well established and professional streamers offer insight and take new streamers under their wing, like a coaching mode?
6. A real-time list that lists allowed content – Let’s be honest, there are companies out there that simply don’t want their content streamed or just don’t like the idea of free advertisement. Maybe have a real-timed updated list or section that provides place where gamers can see what’s allowed and what’s not. There’s nothing worse than recording your gameplay, uploading it to Youtube only to be red-flagged and having a strike against your account simply because you didn’t know that said company doesn’t want content of certain or all of their games.
7. Keep it strictly gaming – Huge right request right here! A service for gaming should be just that, only for gaming. Let’s plays, live streams of game, gaming news and shows regarding games should be the only thing allowed here. If it doesn’t involve gaming, then please don’t have it allowed to live on YouTube Gaming, that’s what YouTube is for. Yes, that also means tech talk, unless it’s directly involved with gaming. Obviously that’s just my opinion, but I’m sure there are others out there who’ll agree with me of this point.
Where there it is, my five tops features that I hope YouTube will implement in their YouTube Gaming service. For all I know they’ve either already thought about those features or already have them in place, but we would now until the service goes live since most they are keeping really quiet about what’s going in. Unless you’re part of the community who’s helping shape the service.
YouTube Gaming is set to go live some time during the Summer of 2015 and I can’t wait to see what they have in store. And if you want to keep on top of what’s going on with YouTube Gaming, be sure to sign up at https://gaming.youtube.com/coming_soon to get updates and to know when it goes live.
Are you looking forward YouTube’s Gaming offering? Are there any features that you feel they should incorporate? We want to know about them.