Steam decided to get in on Twitch’s gig yesterday by launching the beta for Steam Broadcasting. By going into your account details and making sure you are opted into beta programs, anyone can join in on this and stream their gameplay live. Unlike Twitch however, which is a huge, organized, easy to use service, Steam’s version is kind of a jumbled mess right now. It’s easy to watch a friend’s game if they have the option enabled, but going to the community page just seems to reveal a huge list of random streams going on, not all of which are on the up and up. Yesterday I found two streams putting out some porn, and another streaming the movie Kung Pow: Enter the Fist. While I am all for some Kung Pow: Enter the Fist, I don’t really think this is what Steam has in mind with their service.
To that end, I am not even entirely sure what they mean to do with the service at all. I found someone streaming the new Wii U version of Smash Bros, and watched that for a while. However, they were doing it over, OBS, a third party streaming service, like XSplit. But nowhere in the Steam Broadcasting FAQ, could I find out if you’re only supposed to be streaming Steam games, or if any game was okay on this service. To compete with Twitch, or even Hitbox in any meaningful way, it would have to be any game I would imagine. League of Legends and Hearthstone are way too big on the streaming scene to be ignored entirely. If Steam doesn’t allow non-Steam games, this is really a non-starter. However if they do, then great. The picture quality on games I was watching was really up there, so there is the chance this could be something good. Only time will tell. Until then, go look into it. If nothing else, it is an interesting experiment.