One year and one day after Google lost Twitch.tv to Amazon, YouTube Gaming is going public. Starting tomorrow, users can head down to http://gaming.youtube.com (or download the app) to check out the new interface, see who’s streaming, or start a stream themselves. We went hands-on with a pre-release version of YouTube shortly after the June announcement, and very soon the site will be ready for public consumption.
YouTube calls YouTube Gaming the “go-to destination for anything and everything gaming.” It not only shows who is live streaming, but serves as a collection point for all gaming content on YouTube. YouTube Gaming automatically categorizes YouTube’s gaming content and sorts it by game and by the content of video. This allows users to easily see the most popular content for their favorite game.
A beta version of the new live streaming dashboard is also launching tomorrow. The new dashboard makes streaming less of a scheduled event and more of a casual thing that streamers can do whenever they want. Streaming on YouTube Gaming is done on HTML5, and, unlike Twitch, streamers can enable a “DVR Mode” that buffers the last four hours of a stream and allows viewers to rewind.
YouTube Gaming will give Twitch.tv the biggest competition in the live streaming space it has ever seen. Almost every Twitch streamer also uses YouTube for archival purposes and as an additional revenue stream, and now YouTube is a one-stop-shop for every kind of gaming video on the Web.
Starting tomorrow, YouTube says gaming.youtube.com should work for users “in any country where YouTube is available.” The Android phone and tablet app launches tomorrow, too, in the US and UK with “other countries coming soon.” The iOS app will be available at this link, and for now everything is English-only.