Home Gaming Steam takes aim at Twitch with its own broadcasting service

Steam takes aim at Twitch with its own broadcasting service

2 min read


Streaming is big business. It’s become one of the most prolific phenomenon in all of games. Amazon recently purchased Twitch – which reports over 60 million visitors every month – for just under a billion dollars. The PlayStation 4 was shipped with built-in Twitch streaming, and the Xbox One got it patched in not very long after that.  Valve’s jumping on before the bandwagon gets too full, allowing Steam users to broadcast and watch gameplay right from their Steam clients.

Every Steam user that has purchased any game is now able to stream audio and video from any game on the service to anyone on the internet. Users are able to choose who can watch; people on their friends list or the entire internet. It’s built right in to the client, with “no game ownership [on the viewer side], special fees, or additional apps required.”

Streamers don’t even have to explicitly stream. As Valve explains in its broadcasting FAQ, “if your settings allow your game to be watched, then you start broadcasting when someone starts watching” by selecting the “Watch Game” option from their friends list menu. If privacy is a concern and you don’t want people to watch you playing games, you have the option of setting privacy settings so people won’t be able to see your pigeon dating in Hatoful Boyfriend unless you really, really want them to.

Players are able to view the streams through the Steam client, or a Web browser, with Chrome and Safari being the only ones that have received official support from Valve. If you choose to set your stream to public, it’ll be listed on a new community broadcast hub, Viewers can also interact with the broadcasters through a chat window on the side of the stream – much like Twitch.

As with  any other similar service, there’s a pretty strict set of rules broadcasters will have adhere to, which includes not engaging in  “any discussion of piracy” or “cheating, hacking, game exploits” or “posted copyright material such as magazine scans.”

And like many of these services, it’ll unfortunately be close to useless for a majority of South Africans – at least when it comes to broadcasting. Thanks to our dismal upload speeds, we’ll have to be happy watching others’ streams instead of broadcasting our own.

Last Updated: December 3, 2014


  1. MakeItLegal

    December 3, 2014 at 08:37

    awsome…but at the same time sucky for us in SA


  2. Gerhard Davids

    December 3, 2014 at 08:40

    So I gave it a look, it’s very sleek. I don’t see any transcoding so I assume bitrate get’s adjusted to your line or they just stream in source. So far I haven’t seen any lag from the services. If this holds it will be the one thing that twitch does not have yet.


    • Viking Of Divinity

      December 3, 2014 at 08:43

      But Can I broadcast Crysis?


  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    December 3, 2014 at 08:48

    Interesting start. Don’t people earn revenue streaming on twitch though?


    • HairyEwok

      December 3, 2014 at 08:50

      It’s like youtube but without annoying people on it right?


      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        December 3, 2014 at 08:56

        I don’t know. I don’t watch twitch or random people on youtube spouting drivel.


  4. Ross Woofels Mason

    December 3, 2014 at 08:51

    I have watched my friends play games, if screaming “To the right shit blimp” at them in person does not work, having to do this through a screen is going to be 100X more aggravating =p

    On a serious note though, pretty cool. Would be fun for online tournaments and stuff, like street fighter you would be able to watch which ever match you wanted in the brackets.

    But yea sadly in SA no streaming for us.


    • HairyEwok

      December 3, 2014 at 08:53

      We have streaming IF you can afford a 40 Meg VDSL line at about 4k a month.


      • Gerhard Davids

        December 3, 2014 at 09:43

        40Meg vdsl is not even close to symertrical and doesn’t stream great. You need fibre in SA or be on an adsl exchange.


  5. Wyzak

    December 3, 2014 at 09:19

    Mmm nice, but can one stream to a file – aka record?


  6. z1n

    December 3, 2014 at 10:22

    So how does this work in regards to music? Can you add music to your stream? Can you customise overlays etc? Or does it just stream game video and audio? So many questions, too little bandwidth.


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