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Livestream 'Em Up: Steam Broadcasting Out Of Beta

Watch your pals play video games

The sky, rivers, my eyes, this pustule on my hip go on take a good look get right up close is it meant to be this colour and smell like that it seems wrong - everything is streaming lately. Steam's at it too, as Steam Broadcasting left public testing last night and came to the main client.

It builds in support for livestreaming of games and whatever else you fancy, really, but doesn't feel like a direct competitor to Twitch. It seems more personal, more intimate, and over the beta I've mostly used it with friends wanting to show me something. "Isn't this puzzle garbage?" they ask. "See how poorly I sneak!" they blush. It seems a nice and easy setup for that, at the very least.

Along with plain old turned-off-and-won't-intrude-on-anything, Broadcasting has three privacy settings: "friends can request to watch my games"; "friends can watch my my games", and "anyone can watch my games". Set it to the first, and if you're playing something your pals can send a request to view a private stream. The second will let them drop in unannounced. The third will plaster your stream all over Steam Community pages. Go on, click that and you can watch video games live right now. Or have a poke around your Friends list and see who's up to what.

I like the idea of those two more intimate options. Sometimes one does want to show something to specific people without e.g. Twitch strangers popping in to ask why you're playing Binding of Isaac to French radio. Steam Broadcasting is simple, convenient, and pretty decent quality too.

Fire up Steam and it'll try to download the latest update, if it hasn't already. This update also makes mainstream a new in-game FPS counter on the Steam overlay, which I'm sure I'll be grateful for at some point as I frown and mutter "What the HECK are you doing computer?"

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