Several major announcements were made today relating to Microsoft’s video game streaming service, Beam, in a lead-up to the service’s major expansion to the Xbox One console in the following months.
In addition to the reveal of a new Beam logo, it was also revealed that all Beam accounts would eventually merge with existing Xbox Live/Microsoft accounts and that, starting soon, all new Beam account signups will require the creation of a new Xbox Live/Microsoft instead of a separate Beam account as is the case now.
“By introducing Xbox Live for sign in, you'll be able to leverage the same account you use for Xbox, Skype, and Windows to log into Beam, and if you don't already have a Microsoft account, we're making it super easy to get started,” Beam’s Matt Salsamendi said in a statement. “It’s always a bit jarring to change the way you log into a site, but there are a number of awesome reason why this is cool for the community.”
Some of the benefits mentioned of the merging with Microsoft’s Xbox services included enhanced security and customer support, improved community moderation, richer content discovery, and the huge number of existing Xbox and Microsoft users who will immediately have access to the Beam streaming service once the account merging is complete.
Beam will also begin implementing a Twitter-like @ mention system with users’ Xbox Gamertags being the @ usernames. Beam users will still be able to have separate names for their channels though. A name verification program is also planned.
A broad “Winter” release period has been given for when Beam will roll-out to both Windows 10 devices and the Xbox One video game console. It’s unclear if new Beam apps will be created for Windows 10 and Xbox One as it has been confirmed several times that the Beam service will be fully integrated with the Windows 10 operating system in much the same way the Xbox gaming service is now. It is extremely likely that a Beam app will at least be created for consuming other users’ streams however.
Are you excited by these changes to Beam or would you prefer it stay separate from Windows 10 and Xbox? Let us know in the comments below.