YouTube Gaming: What to expect from the Twitch rival

YouTube Gaming has officially launched. But what exactly is it?

As YouTube announced back in June, YouTube Gaming is “A YouTube built for gamers.”


this is about more than just the existing video game-related content on

Google’s video service being repackaged and funnelled into one

easy-to-consume place. Much more.

Here’s what you can expect to see from YouTube Gaming.

Going live


so YouTube Gaming does indeed pull all of the existing YouTube gaming

(with a little ‘g’) content together into one easy-to-consume place.


got your PewDiePie and your favourite gaming website’s game reviews and

that Minecraft recreation of Les Miserables that went viral last

Tuesday (probably).

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But YouTube’s focus here is very much on the live streaming element, which it has pretty much sucked at for some time now.


gaming broadcasts, which have become a huge hit with gamers, will be

surfaced and pushed to the fore in the service’s new interface. These

broadcasts will even auto-play from the zoomed-in thumbnail view on your


So it’s like Twitch, then?

Well, yes. The

Amazon-owned video service has established a thriving community of live

streamers, chiefly in the gaming space, and that’s precisely the

audience YouTube is targeting here.

In fact, around this time last year Google seemed to be the front-runner to acquire Twitch before Amazon swooped in

with a surprise £584 million offer. Google and YouTube, clearly burned

by the move, set to making their own live streaming service.


Twitch will continue to have the benefit of greater cachet among the

famously tribal hardcore gaming crowd, its position in this young market

is actually more precarious than it might like to admit.

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YouTube has fumbled its own early live streaming attempts, it continues

to be the go-to service for recorded gaming video content. Indeed, most

heavy Twitch content providers still use YouTube to archive their stuff,

and as a secondary revenue stream.

What has emerged from this is

a split video offering for gamers, whereby they have to switch between

two distinct service depending on whether they want to watch live

broadcasts or carefully recorded content. It’s more convoluted than it

needs to be, and so YouTube Gaming is an attempt to offer the complete

gaming video package.

What’s the difference between YouTube Gaming and Twitch?


potentially crucial advantage YouTube has over Twitch is its DVR

feature. Just like your TV box, YouTube Gaming will automatically buffer

live broadcasts for up to four hours. This means that if you miss the

start of a broadcast, you can just rewind. That’s something that isn’t

currently possible on Twitch.

It’s actually part of a wider less

rigid approach to live streaming on YouTube’s part. Whereas you have to

schedule live broadcasts in Twitch, YouTube Gaming will let creators

start recording on a whim.

YouTube Gaming


with that DVR buffering feature, YouTube wants its viewers to stumble

across live content casually, just as they do with its recorded


YouTube Gaming should also be more popular than Twitch

with content rights holders. Its advanced Content ID system will kill

broadcasts if third-party content (like music playing in the background)

is detected.

How’s it structured?

More than 25,000 games

will have their own YouTube Gaming pages at launch. These pages will

contain all YouTube video content – all the reviews, Now Playings, and

of course all the live broadcasts – related to each specific game.

Related: Best PS4 games | Best Xbox One games
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by early test versions of the service, the left hand menu on the

YouTube Gaming website will contain popular and trending games.

Meanwhile the YouTube Gaming search system will be specifically catered

to gaming content, so “typing “call” will show you “Call of Duty” and

not “Call Me Maybe,” to use YouTube’s own example.


right-hand menu, meanwhile, will contain the kind of channels that will

be familiar to normal YouTube users – though obviously with an

exclusive gaming slant.

One other feature that YouTube Gaming has

over regular YouTube is the ability to star, or favourite, games and

channels. This won’t subscribe you to the channel like in regular

YouTube, but rather will serve to surface related content to your home


So what exactly has launched?


has now launched as a stand-alone website in every

country that currently has access to regular YouTube.


the UK and US, users will also get access to the free YouTube Gaming

app for iOS and Android, which will provide the same basic features in a

smartphone-savvy UI.