YouTube Gaming Streaming Platform Launches Today

YouTube Gaming is due to launch today. The service is YouTube’s answer to Twitch and is designed primarily to support video game streaming, as well as providing a dedicated interface for people to browse and watch videos of games.

A beta has been in the hands of some since the service’s announcement in June, but as reported by Ars Technica, the service and app should be available to everyone later today.

Unlike YouTube itself, but just like Twitch, the service lets you browse content by game. There are features however that Twitch doesn’t have, such as a “DVR mode” that automatically records the last four hours of any stream, meaning you can rewind to the beginning should you come in midway during a Rocket League match.

Less appealing however is that the service goes further in other ways, too. YouTube’s existing ContentID matching, which detects copyrighted material, will also be applied to streams. Twitch uses a similar system but only to mute audio in archived files. YouTube Gaming however will reportedly give streamers a real-time warning that a content match has been found, and if that warning is ignored will block the stream until it detects that the copyrighted content has stopped. Given how often Content ID incorrectly identifies copyright matches, whether for permissible game music or simply people’s own voices, that seems like it could cause problems.

Cousin Eurogamer recorded a tour of the streaming service if you’re curious about how it works ahead of its launch.

Although every video available through YouTube Gaming will also be viewable on YouTube proper, the new service uses a new system of ‘favourites’ rather than ‘subscriptions’ for the channels you follow. When you first open the Gaming app, you’ll have the option to import your existing subscriptions, but otherwise will have a fresh slate. Favouriting a channel on YouTube Gaming will cause you to subscribe to them on YouTube proper, but not vice versa.

In short, subscribe to the Rock, Paper, Shotgun YouTube channel.


  1. RimeOfTheMentalTraveller says:

    Wait… does that trailer mean you have Rab Florence on your channel? I’m sold! I love Burnistoun.

  2. RandomNext says:

    Yes! Because what the streaming community desperately needed was fragmentation.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Wait. Explain why “fragmentation” is bad in this particular case.

      Cause I’m trying, and I got nothing. There’s really no benefit to centralization here.

      • RandomNext says:

        At least from my viewpoint centralization is key here ^^ On twitch right now you basically have a pyramid of successfull streamers on the top going down to new streamers and unsuccessfull ones. Since everything is on twitch and viewers are a finite resource, viewcounts on twitch bleed downwards if a streamer with high viewcounts starts recommending or “raiding” low viewcount streams.
        Now the community gets fragmented, so the finite resource gets smaller and upstarts are going to have a much harder time getting more viewers.
        And its not like it will stop there – If youtube game streams start to take off there will probably be a few more platforms starting up in the next few years.

        • Vyce says:

          It really doesn’t matter. The viewers don’t go to Twitch because it’s Twitch. They go to Twitch for the streamers. If said streamer started going over to say.. YouTube or a competitor, the viewers will probably go to that site. It’s not fragmenting the community in the way of ‘if you don’t own x you can’t join’ it’s expanding the availability of choice, which is needed, especially if someday Twitch didn’t offer the demanded features that streamers and viewers wanted, quality went down, or otherwise Twitch gets lazy and complacent with it’s place in streaming.

  3. Ramshackle Thoughts says:

    Competition is good. Twitch has had a strong headstart but no realistic competition in the market means they might start getting complacent, not pushing the upgrades or updates we want.

    Live ContentID will not go down well, especially with games like GTA, even Wind Waker. I had a Journey video flagged the other day. We’ll see how they manage it though…

    • Jalan says:

      I’m still trying to understand how them stopping the stream entirely is a wise idea. Doesn’t Twitch just cut the audio entirely but leave the video going?

      • 0positivo says:

        And even that only on the VOD

        I think it gets around to allow streamers to have music while live by appealing to the same system radio stations use, but don’t quote me on that

  4. NarcoSleepy says:

    I hope this is successful enough to light a fire under Twitch’s butt, but not successful enough to bury Twitch, Not a Google (or Alphabet, or whatever) fan.

  5. TillEulenspiegel says:

    I look forward to watching streams that don’t cause my laptop to melt. YouTube/HTML5 generally does a good job of using the far more efficient H.264 hardware decoder.

    • fish99 says:

      Twitch is phasing out Flash, and already I get the html5 player on twitch most of the time.

      • ikehaiku says:

        Careful: the “new” twitch player only have controls (ie, the buttons) in html5, and of course the chat. The video itself still relies on Flash. But yeah, Flash will be phased out entirely eventually there.

  6. Enso says:

    My user experience with twitch is not a pleasant one so I’m looking forward to giving this a go.

  7. geldonyetich says:

    So, does this mean YouTube will start exporting all gaming-related content to the specifically gaming YouTube so that non-gaming casuals can get to their cat videos without being potentially sidetracked by the evil dimension of interactive pixels, or is this just a sorely vestigial thing for the purposes of streaming?

    • Jalan says:

      I doubt they split the two into separate hosting entities (though, given Google’s penchant for doing nonsensical things in the last few years maybe they have future plans to do so) – as is, it’s still YouTube hosting all the archived stream recordings so this just feels like an alternative wrapper for those who want the game content and not all the other “not game” content.

  8. Jokerme says:

    Am I the only who’s getting a 404 error? I can’t enter at all.

    • Jokerme says:

      Oh well. Apparently I needed to sign off from Youtube first for some reason.

  9. Suits says:

    Having all those regular videos on there makes me not want to use it at all, I want streaming seperate so I don’t have to look for what is and isn’t live.

  10. Neutrino says:

    Fuck You Tube.