It looks like YouTube is set to take on Twitch with a big push into gaming content.
Announced via Twitter today, YouTube Gaming represents a big push by Google into the live game streaming space, currently dominated by Twitch. The service has been rumored to be in the works for a while, but it's now official with a dedicated web portal and apps on both Android and iOS.
Google says that YouTube Gaming will be available on the web, and as an app on Android and iOS. Users will be able to keep up with their favorite games and gamers in three main sections: games, feeds, and channels. Google says that it has improved live streams with reduced chat latency and better moderation, making for a more seamless experience in keeping up with your favorite YouTubers as they stream. Additionally, users will be able to tell YouTube Gaming what games they're into, and the service will make recommendations for content based on a running list of your preferences. And that list of games? Google says they'll have over 25,000 titles with their own dedicated pages to start out with.
For content creators, they'll have much better tools to customize their channels for gaming content, with better organization and naming. Additionally, YouTubers will be able to take advantage of 60fps streams, DVR, and automatic conversion of YouTube Gaming streams to regular old YouTube videos.
From what we've seen so far, YouTube Gaming looks like quite the opening salvo for Google in an area traditionally dominated by one player: Twitch. It will be interesting to see how the community reacts, particularly if it creates a divide between the dedicated Twitch crowd and YouTube's gaming stars.
Google says that YouTube Gaming will launch later this summer in the U.S. and U.K., but no specific date was given. For now you can head over to the YouTube Gaming website to sign up for a notification when the service goes live (protip: click around on the logo for a surprise or two).