Google has announced plans to launch YouTube Gaming this summer, offering users a way to share videos and live streams of games.
If that sounds familiar, that’s because there’s already a place where you can watch people play games in real-time. It’s called Twitch. It’s incredibly popular. And it was acquired by Amazon last year for nearly a billion dollars.
In other words, Google is kind of the underdog… for now.
That said, YouTube is the reigning champ in user-generated online video and the company already has tools that let content creators stream live video.
YouTube also does a pretty good job of making it easy to share videos, find related videos, and generally spend more time staring at your computer screen than you’d meant to when you first clicked that cute cat video. So if Google plays its cards right, it could give Twitch a run for its money.
YouTube Gaming will feature dedicated pages for more than 25 thousand games at launch, allowing you to find recorded and live video streams. Add a game to your collection and you can see the latest related videos as they become available. And if you subscribe to a channel, you’ll be notified when a live stream is beginning.
Google says it’s improving its live streaming technology so that users can start a stream immediately without scheduling it in advance. Videos can stream at 60 frames per second and there’s a DVR function that lets users pause and rewind a stream.
YouTube Gaming launches in the US and UK this summer. There’s no word on if or when it will be available to users in other countries.