Beam video game streaming site gets revamp ahead of Windows 10/Xbox push

Brad Stephenson

Microsoft's Beam Video Game Streaming Service

The Beam video game streaming company made several major announcements today. In addition to the reveal of their new logo and plans for new mobile apps and merging of Beam and Microsoft accounts, there was also some major news regarding the streaming service itself and a major visual redesign of the Beam website.

The new Beam website, which can be tested by Pro Beam users starting from today, contains a new visual design language, redesigned transitions and animations, and a more consistent style across the entire site. The refreshed website also apparently loads five times faster than the existing version and boasts a “60 FPS render performance sitewide” according to Beam’s Matt Salsamendi in the announcement post.

Beam’s broadcasting and streaming is also getting an upgrade. Here are all of the improvements:

  • We are increasing our max bitrate to up to 10 Mbps
  • 1440p 60 FPS streams now supported
  • Super high motion 1080p now looks awesome
  • Ability to schedule and feature multiple broadcasters and events
  • Ability to feature mature streams to authenticated 18+ users
  • More screen real estate to share info about broadcaster’s communities
  • A HUGE focus on better error handling, Beam now deals with network hiccups with ease
  • A new and improved polling UI (including the ability to see what your friends voted on)
  • Inline emoticon auto completion (see what your emote messages look like before sending)
  • A new fancy mod gizmo (click and drag a person’s username)

A brand new player has been designed to increase the quality and speed of the video streaming. This new player is 100% HTML5 (no Flash), has more controls and better browser support, and improved support for video on-demand playback.

“We’re no longer the scrappy startup we were last year,” Salsamendi said. “With the resources of Microsoft behind us, we’re going back to the basics and evaluating how we can make every aspect of the site more smooth, stable, and epic. Today, I’m extremely excited to announce that Pro users can begin testing an entirely new version of Beam, written from the ground up with scale in mind.”

Microsoft purchased Beam earlier this year and quickly announced plans to implement the game streaming service into Windows 10 devices and the Xbox One. Game streaming has quickly become a major industry with Twitch currently being the most popular platform for gamers to broadcast and consume streams on. Twitch boasts over 9.7 million active daily users and is the fourth highest source of traffic in the United States behind Netflix, Apple, and Google. Beam is significantly smaller than Twitch right now but it’s increase in popularity is becoming more and more likely since Microsoft purchased it and their new plans to automatically give all Microsoft account holders access to Beam over the coming months.

Have you used Beam yet? Do you think it will be a big success? What do you think of the major Beam announcements today? Let us know in the comments below.