If you play games on Windows 10, livestreaming and competing is about to become a whole lot easier. The Windows 10 Creators Update will introduce a slew of new gaming features, including built-in game broadcasting and the ability to set up your own custom tournaments.
You'll be able to instantly broadcast your Windows 10 games using Beam, a livestreaming service that Microsoft bought earlier this year. To get a stream going, all you have to do is open the Windows 10 game bar, hit the broadcast button, and you're good to go. Your Xbox Live friends will be notified when you're live, and you'll see an on-screen chat window that lets you interact with your viewers.
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Beam is similar to Twitch, but with one key difference: your viewers can influence what happens in your game. When showcasing the feature at today's Microsoft Event in New York City, Xbox's Jenn McCoy watched a friend play some Forza Horizon 3, before clicking a button that caused the driver to go off road. It's like Twitch Plays Pokemon, but with more direct controls for viewers. While it was shown off on a Windows 10 PC, Beam broadcasting is also slated to Xbox One soon.
The Creators Update will also give players the ability to set up their own custom tournaments via Xbox Live's Arena feature. All you'll need to do is visit the Arena hub on Windows 10 or Xbox One, pick a game, mode and time, and choose whether to invite just friends or welcome all comers. Arena was first shown off earlier this year and currently allows Xbox One preview members to compete in official Killer Instinct tournaments, but now it looks like Microsoft wants to put tournament organization into the hands of its players.
The Windows 10 Creators Update is coming to Windows Insiders this week, and will roll out more widely at a still-unspecified date next year.