Back in August, Microsoft acquired video game streaming service Beam. Since then the company has been shaping its vision for the service and how it will integrate into Xbox Live. Today, a new major update has introduced several changes and a new logo for Beam.
This release also brings a merger with Xbox Live and Microsoft accounts. All Beam accounts will be merged with Xbox Live accounts soon, which was expected to happen when Microsoft bought the company. All new signups to Beam will have to have or create a new Xbox Live/Microsoft account.
“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.”
Microsoft is not just trying to tie more users to Xbox Live, the merger means Beam scores some new features.
The company's social gaming platform has the security and customer support backing of a company like Microsoft. Of course, the upside for existing Xbox Live users is that they will now get the streaming service integrated into their account.
Xbox Live Integration Features:
- Leverage Xbox tooling, support, and moderation to scale Beam's community
- Enables significant security enhancements with 2FA, suspicious login detection, and more
- Brings more viewers to Beam with a universal and easy to use authentication mechanism
- Enables deeper social experiences, game integrations, and richer content discovery
Wider changes have been made to the general performance and UI of Beam. The company says it has “evolved” its UI and introduced consistent styling across the website. In terms of performance, 60FPS rendering has been brought to the entire site, while 1440p streams are now supported.
Beam is offering only a vague “winter” release period for its appearance on Windows 10 and Xbox One. There is also speculation that the company will create specific apps for Windows 10 and Xbox One, but that has not been confirmed. However, Beam has said it will integrate fully into Windows 10.
Full Beam Changes
- Evolved design language and components
- Brand new kinetic animations for transitions and interactions
- More consistent styling across the site
- Initial site load time has been improved 5 times over (RIP spinner)
- 60 FPS render performance sitewide
- Vastly improved mobile web support (for those on devices without apps)
- The maximum bitrate has been increased to up to 10 Mbps
- 1440p 60 FPS streams now supported
- Super high motion 1080p now looks awesome
- A brand new homepage with a wider breadth of featured content from you.
- Ability to schedule and feature multiple broadcasters and events
- Ability to feature mature streams to authenticated 18+ users
- More screen real estate to share info about broadcaster's communities
- After a huge focus on better error handling, Beam now deals with network hiccups with ease
- A new and improved polling UI (including the ability to see what your friends voted on)
- Inline emoticon auto completion (see what your emote messages look like before sending)
- A new fancy mod gizmo (click and drag a person's username)
- Significantly better browser support, more controls, and better error handling
- Not only is HTML5 still default, you'll never see Flash again
- Better VOD playback (including scrubbing, linking to timestamps in VODs, and chat replay)