It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that game streaming has become incredibly popular in recent years as the hardware becomes easier to handle and Internet speeds continue to improve. People streaming from their consoles typically require some sort of capture card device, but streaming your games from your PC is so much easier. And, up until now, Twitch has really been the overwhelmingly dominant force in this realm. Well, Twitch is about to get a big challenger in the form of Steam Broadcasting from Valve.
Yes, just as Twitch is the dominant force in game streaming, Valve's Steam platform has grown to become the dominant force in digital game delivery on PCs too. Given that the Steam platform already has a built-in community with friends lists and the rest of it, tacking on some game streaming capabilities to capture this growing amateur (and pro) interest only makes sense.
The Steam Broadcasting feature started its open beta earlier today and the real kicker is that you don't have to grab anything extra: the streaming is built right into Steam itself and you can stream your games privately to your friends or broadly to the general public. It's up to you. There's also the option of using Chrome or Safari if you want.
Part of the appeal here is that, unlike Twitch, Steam Broadcasting won't require you to go through another piece of software like OBS or XSplit. Part of the downside, then, is that you may not have as many options and features for customizing your stream, at least for now. Also, at least for the beta, the streams are not being archived, so they're only for live gameplay. I imagine that'll change when this emerges from beta.
Go ahead. Give Steam Broadcasting a try and let us know what you think of the service so far via the comments below.