Microsoft celebrates the first anniversary of its game play service and the Twitch competitor, Mixer, with a host of new features, including an update to the user experience and the release of a toolkit for expanded developers called MixPlay. The new streaming tools will be released along with the improved version of Mixer .com on desktop computers and mobile websites, and will initially be available to subscribers of Mixer Pro.
The company states that the service saw more than 10 million monthly user badets in December 2017 – a figure, we should point out, may be higher due to holiday sales and the increase in game downloads and game time seen on all platforms.
However, Microsoft also says that the mixer audience has grown more than four since its launch, and the number of transmissions observed has grown more than five times. These are not hard numbers yet, but third-party reports have put Mixer way behind the considerable and growing advantage of Twitch in terms of simultaneous broadcasts and viewers. (However, those reports are not 100% accurate, because they can not track the Xbox audience).
Microsoft says the updated Mixer.com starts as of today, with a focus on doing so for viewers to find the games and streamers they want to watch, as well as those that broadcast in creative communities .
While Pro subscribers will get access first, they must choose to visit their Account Settings and activate account settings. new appearance in manual form. (To do this, select the "Site version" dialog box and then the "User interface update / function" option, says Microsoft.)
The full update will reach all Mixer users later this summer.
As part of the new experience, the company is also implementing more tools for developers with the launch of MixPlay.
As Microsoft explains, instead of simply adding buttons under a sequence, MixPlay allows developers to create experiences on the sequences, in panels on the sides of the video, as widgets around the video, or as floating overlays, all the which can be designed to mimic the look and feel of the transmitted content. Basically, this means that the entire window is now a canvas, not just a part of the transmission itself.
An example of what MixPlay can enable can be seen at the launch of the "Share Driver" feature in April, which created an Xbox virtual controller that could be shared by anyone who transmitted from their Xbox One.
This allowed players and spectators to play in real time from the web.
In addition, MixPlay will enable other games that can only be played in Mixer where the controls are mixed with the sequence, such as Mini Golf, which was launched this month and now has 300,000 views, or Truck Stars, for example.
Three new MixPlay compatible games are also being released today, including Earthfall, which allows viewers to interact with streamers or even change the game; Next Up Hero, where viewers can help a streamer by taking control or freezing the streamer at the worst possible time, depending on their mood; and Late Shift, a crime thriller of your own choice that you control.
This type of MixPlay experiences change the idea of Mixer as a service of playing games to another in which viewers can actively participate. touch themselves, or at least guide the action. That could also serve as a differentiator for Mixer, as it tries to carve a niche in the battle with Twitch and YouTube Gaming.
But MixPlay is not just for interactive experiences, says Microsoft. It can also help developers create experiences that simply improve transmissions with additional content, such as a statistics panel.
Another update includes the Mixer Create application, which offers mobile support for streamers. Now, the streamers can start a simultaneous transmission by clicking on the Co-stream button in your Mixer Create profile, and then send invitations, among other things.
Today is in beta of Android and will be released soon in iOS beta, with full implementation in early June.
In terms of benefits, Microsoft is running an "anniversary" promotion that offers $ 5 of Microsoft Store credit along with any direct purchase of $ 9.99 or more. A second promotion is giving away a free 1-month and up to 90-day Mixer Pro subscription to anyone who reaches level 10 on their account between May 24, 2018 at 12:00 a.m. UST.m. and on May 28, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.
The company also announced a new partnership with ESL in esports, which will bring more than 15,000 hours of programming from the best games of competition to Mixer, including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and Dota 2. These tournaments will benefit Mixer's FTL technology for "second-second latency," says the company.
Other announcements about electronic games and sports are mentioned in the Mixer blog post, too.