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Today, Valve has announced Steam Broadcasting as part of its beta client. Mac/PC Steam users (anyone who has purchased a game from the service) can now opt in to Steam’s new integrated broadcasting beta, which essentially allows gamers to get full Twitch-like streaming functionality directly inside of the Steam ecosystem.

With the rising popularity of Twitch’s live broadcasting service among gamers (they just sold to Amazon for nearly $1 billion), not to mention its adoption by Sony and Microsoft for their new boxes, it’s not surprising the PC gaming juggernaut would introduce similar functionality. Even better, the new service will come at no additional fee and require no additional software…

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When you see a friend in game, simply click on “Watch Game” from their profile or from the Steam Client Friend’s List to open a window into their gameplay — no game ownership, special fees, or additional apps required.

Users can choose to broadcast to the public or just to select friends, with custom privacy settings available along the way. For private streams, select viewers can watch available broadcasts by simply hitting an icon from their friends list (as seen above). Whereas for public broadcasts, Valve has introduced a new community page where there are already a number of streams available. Streams will be available directly in the Steam client and accessible in the browser.

On top of game video and audio, there will also be commentary and chat functionality, very much like you would see on Twitch. While users have the option to stream content in full 1080p, Valve suggests bandwidth may be limited while the service is in beta. Valve will also have a strict code of conduct in place here to keep the broadcasts focused on games.

You’ll find more details on the service in Valve’s FAQ and to access the beta now go to “the Steam client main menu, select Settings > Account and change your “Beta Participation” to “Steam Beta Update”.”

More from Valve:

Announcement – Valve: 2:17pm

Starting today you can watch your friends’ games with the click of a button via Steam Broadcasting, now available in beta. When you see a friend in game, simply click on “Watch Game” from their profile or from the Steam Client Friend’s List to open a window into their gameplay — no game ownership, special fees, or additional apps required.

The beta is open to everyone on Steam who wants to participate by opting in to the Steam Client beta through the Steam Settings panel. For the time being, concurrent viewing may be limited as the beta is scaled up to support the broader audience.

As always, we want your feedback and ideas on how to make this feature better. Make sure to check out the Steam Broadcast discussions and FAQ, and let us know what you think!


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