Even if you get bored watching other people play video games, chances are you will find this review fun to read. Why? Because 10 years ago, watching other streamers play didn’t make sense to me. Like the majority of viewers, I had a change in perspective and got addicted to watching gaming videos. If you’re not yet into it, don’t worry, just keep reading because chances are that by the end of this blog, you’ll develop an affinity towards the gaming community and YouTube Gaming in particular.
YouTube Gaming is amongst the biggest gaming platform in the world for creators and viewers alike. Many even claim watching gaming content to be the best use of their internet data. YouTube Gaming allows users to watch an endless number of video game live streams and pre-recorded videos. Not just that, it also allows you to broadcast your own. So, whether you want to watch Markiplier play live or want to watch PewDiePie’s pre-recorded videos, you’ll find everything on this platform.
Cut-throat competition or Saturation?
For years, Twitch has been at the center of the gaming revolution. However, with the rise of YouTube Gaming and Microsoft’s Mixer, things are becoming rather challenging for Twitch. YouTube Gaming is Google’s response to Twitch and other leading gaming streaming services that offer on-demand video or live-action and reaction videos covering YouTube’s gaming sphere.
Let’s talk numbers
As far as numbers go, YouTube gaming has 83.3 million subscribers. However, its 22,000 creators have produced only 460,000 hours of content as compared to Twitch’s 64,000 users’ 1.9 million hours of live video content. In terms of numbers, YouTube Gaming still has a lot of catching up to do. But with the attention the platform is getting since the turn of the year, it will surely close that gap.
What is YouTube Gaming?
YouTube Gaming is an offshoot service similar to YouTube Movies, which offers on-demand and live video game content. The revamped platform features existing game videos and allows you to find the best live streaming videos via a curated playlist. A couple of years ago, finding videos would be tumultuous, but not today. You get a complete list of top YouTubers who have played a particular game and thus you can find a dedicated playlist section.
YouTube Gaming is not the same as the old YouTube with dull and plain black interface which just shrugs popular gaming videos in your face. It has overhauled the entire page and made it graphically appealing and amazing in terms of functionality. From League of Legends to Street Fighter, you can catch up almost all the major titles on the platform.
If you haven’t yet visited the page, you’d presume that the page isn’t going to be any different from the standard YouTube interface. However, that’s far from the truth because the developers have put a considerable amount of effort into the page. It has to be one of the most iconic pages on YouTube. Right away, the hero section catches my attention. There are five sliders with each carrying an individual video that plays seamlessly.
As you scroll down, you see a horizontal gaming banner with Subscribe CTA button on the right. Under that, you’ll find well-curated playlists with heading such as ‘Top Live Games’, ‘Top Live Streams’, ‘Recommended’. As you scroll further, you’ll find the list of games you follow, in my case, there’s ‘PES 2020’, ‘EA Sports FIFA 20’, ‘PUBG’, ‘Minecraft’, and ‘Sekiro’.
Upon clicking on any of the titles, you’ll be taken to a new page which has vertical creative thumbnail on the left. Besides the thumbnail, you’ll find title, description, and keywords. And on the right side, you’ll find Subscribe and Watch Trailer buttons. My favorite part is the cover image with a transparent black design on the top. It looks fascinating. Little custom details such as this one make streaming on YouTube worth it – they never fail to capture the nuances.
Right under that, you’ll find seven options – Home, Live, Recent, Explore, Let’s Play, Official and About. Upon clicking any of these options, the playlist under the header will be updated as per your preference. The live comments and suggested videos have a bigger focus with a darker color scheme. The main page is filled with on-air streams and mostly covers the most popular channels or videos. You can customize the profile and get a recommendation of games that you care about.
YouTube Gaming’s content has to be its biggest strength. You can find titles such as ‘Minecraft’, ‘PUBG’, ‘Sekiro’, ‘Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’, ‘Temple Run’, ‘Grand Theft Auto V’, and ‘Subway Surfers’. This is not all, you can find almost any gaming YouTuber’s particular game coverage by clicking on the search bar.
You can watch content with a resolution of up to 4K, depending upon the original quality that has been uploaded by the creator. Most of the gaming streams are in HD quality or better, thus, ensure that you’re either on Wi-Fi or have an abundance of data connection with at least 5mbps of speed.
As far as the diverse range of content goes, there are four categories:
Let’s Plays are fun to watch games wherein the gamers are just testing out a particular game with strategy. This category is specifically for an audience group interested in buying a game but wants to learn more about it via YouTube.
You’ll find tons of gaming reviews content on YouTube. That’s because a lot of people rely on YouTube for honest reviews before shelling $40-$100 on a game. There are many games in the market which is quite overwhelming. Thus, watching reviews allows you to find the game most suitable for you.
Walkthrough videos are different from Let’s Plays. The videos are structured pretty well and are mapped out properly. Viewers can enjoy the game – experience the events, characters, and side quests which they could’ve missed otherwise.
Reaction videos are very entertaining. Though the creators often get the heat for such videos. There’s something attractive about the reaction videos. Channels such as OzzyMan Reviews has redefined reactions and commentary on YouTube platform. Misery or excitement, reaction videos are spontaneous and fun to watch. Just like Snoop Dogg’s commentary on animals.
YouTube Gaming helps the creators to improve as well the consumers to achieve a better experience. For creators, broadcasting themselves has never been so easy. Simply click on the Go Live button at the top of the screen. Apart from this, you can even upload a new video or start streaming. Just make sure that you have the proper gaming setup such as Hauppauge HD PVR 2 Gaming or other Open Broadcast Software.
Streamers can easily connect with the fans – chat with them and make money via the live stream. They can play advertisements and show a link to Patreon or Kickstarter pages where their community can support them financially. This is a huge plus for the creators as well as the audience, as together they can support each other by improving the overall quality of the channel.
The only aspect that’s harsh on this platform is its music policy. On Twitch, streams where a copyrighted song is presented, it’s muted rather than being taken down. With YouTube, that’s not the case.
Plans & Pricing
The platform is absolutely free to use for both viewers and content creators. You can support your favorite YouTubers through Patreon or Kickstarter and can even donate when they are live streaming. However, YouTube as a platform doesn’t charge you anything for watching the streams.
Suggestions I have for YouTube Gaming
I like the platform. There are no complaints with regard to streaming quality. Most of the features are top-notch. My only suggestion would be to create an individual platform with a unique appeal. Now, though that’s challenging and might not be good advice, it’ll surely attract millions of users if it’s anywhere as good as the current streaming service. It’s just that YouTube’s content property feels the same because of the dark layout.
YouTube Gaming is one of the best platforms to stream endless gaming content. I love streaming YouTube Gaming on my mobile and I spend a considerable amount of time watching walkthroughs on the network. One of my favorite Gaming YouTuber is BrendenPlayz who generally streams WWE gaming content. Apart from his channel, I often watch MGH, TheRadBrad, Chris Smoove, and ShuffleGamer.