Streaming has become a huge part of the online gaming experience, no doubt about it. Gamers can immediately find out about the latest and greatest in gaming by finding someone who is streaming it. You can meet awesome streamers and communities and feel like you’re a part of something. So it comes as no surprise that there were many companies who looked at this growing trend and wanted to set up a streaming service for themselves. Once the dust settled, three major services remained: Twitch, the originator and most popular of the gaming streaming sites, YouTube, whose popularity in pre-recorded videos made streaming a natural evolution, and Beam, who, despite providing an excellent service, became the Internet Explorer of the gaming world (an if that reference doesn’t hit, think Microsoft Edge).
The road has been hard for Beam because they weren’t the first and they weren’t well established like the other two services were, even though they offer much less lag time, easily searchable content, and excellent support to all their streamers. However, Beam has been working hard on a rebranding movement and unlike Heroes of the Storm 2.0, it isn’t just all talk. Renaming themselves Mixer, they have worked hard to not only introduce the same type of services available on Twitch, such as chat integration, crowd play, and a feature page known as Channel One to showcase talented streamers across the sight, but also to expand into new territory, integrating Mixer directly into Windows 10 and Xbox consoles, as well as developing an app for the service for on the go streaming (developed in house as opposed to current third-party streaming apps) and building a studio in New York at the flagship Microsoft store for the purpose of content creation.
Even with all these overhauls, there is one that makes this new site uniquely Mixer, which is co-op streaming. Instead of a group of streamers playing together but on separate channels, Mixer’s new co-op streaming feature allows content creators to bring four separate streams together on one page, allowing audiences to enjoy the entire group playing together in one place. You can watch Mario Kart, League of Legends, Overwatch, and other multiplayer games from everyone’s viewpoint split screen style! This is a particularly exciting feature, not only for the possibilities of mix and match streaming, but because this is something that makes Mixer unique and different, which is exactly what the streaming site has been missing. Up to this point, while the service had a lot to offer, there was nothing to set it apart from other similar sites, but with the introduction of co-op streaming Mixer has it’s own flavor. So the big question is, is Mixer now in the mix?