Google to buy Twitch
Xbox One and PlayStation 4 users who make a habit of providing friends and family with a livestream of their play sessions should prepare for huge changes. Citing inside sources, it’s Variety‘s belief that Google is preparing to announce a buyout of Twitch, the game streaming video service, for $1 billion in cash.
To be clear, Google hasn’t announced anything yet, but the prevalent thinking is that Google is preparing to purchase the world’s largest video game streaming company to keep its own YouTube video service relevant in the gaming market. Today, YouTube allows users to livestream, however Google didn’t make livestreaming an option for most users until late last year. Twitch essentially acts as a modern day YouTube for gaming-specific tasks. Players are able to promote their livestream, engage directly with viewers and receive payments from advertisements embedded in their streams.
Twitch integrates with both the Xbox One and PS4 so that users can stream their play sessions online with as little hassle as possible. The entire system is software-based. As such, Xbox One, PS4 and PC users don’t have to worry about purchasing tuner cards or extra hardware. In fact, getting a stream going is as simple as pressing the Share button on the PS4’s controller or telling a Kinect 2-equipped Xbox One to “broadcast.” Xbox 360 owners can livestream content from their console, but the Xbox 360 app does allow users to consume other’s livestream.
Right now, it doesn’t appear as if Google has any immediate changes planned for the service. Google and Twitch are said to still be negotiating how autonomous Twitch will be from within Google.