Back in May, a hugely innovative start-up company caught my eye.
Beam, a game streaming firm focusing on interconnected gaming, received $50,000 for winning TechCrunch Disrupt.
Beam essentially taps into the community-focused gaming that has only been found in dribs and drabs on Amazon’s popular Twitch streaming site.
Channels like Twitch Plays Poke?mon (which was enormously popular) allow hundreds of thousands of viewers to control the game all at once, with spectators able to use their keyboard to instruct what happens on-screen.
The problem with this is that with so many players fighting over the input instructions, the game plays out as a visual mess. It’s more of a fun gimmick than anything meaningful. Beam, on the other hand, boasts a front-end input system, and lets the channel owner allow a particular viewer to control the action for as long as they want.
The potential here for the PC gaming sphere is absolutely huge. Top streamers, eSports pros and personalities could allow competition winners or randomly picked viewers to take control of their game at any given moment, making the stream infinitely more interesting.
It will have no doubt caught the eye of Twitch, and investors across the world – so don’t be surprised to see it going mainstream over the next few years.
The development comes as EA’s chief competition officer Peter Moore says that Xbox One and PS4 could be the last games consoles.
“I’m not sure there will be consoles as we know them anymore,” he said. “Games will be accessed by streaming technology, so we don’t need hardware intermediaries in between the two.
“If you and I want to play ‘Battlefield 12’ against each other, we will just jump into a game via whatever monitor we happen to have in our homes. It’ll be on a chip, rather than in a box.”
One thing’s for certain – the future of streaming is very bright indeed.
And of course, more streaming means more PCs – something that will no doubt boost the channel in years to come.