YouTube Gaming, the company's dedicated platform for all things videogames, has officially launched today. From the YouTube blog:
YouTube Gaming is your go-to destination for anything and everything gaming because it automatically pulls in all gaming-related videos and live streams from YouTube.
Viewers get personalized gaming recommendations based on the games and channels they collect. With over 25,000 game pages and even more gaming channels, it’s never been easier to connect with your gaming community.
We’ve also made it easier to create a live stream — check out the beta version of our new way to go live at youtube.com/stream today.
I took the app for a spin this evening on my iPad, and it's well done. There's a lot going on in the front page – live streams, reviews, channels, game pages, but the YouTube team has done a good job at figuring out ways to automatically categorize content. When watching a game review, for instance, a link to that game's page is available in the video description; tap it, and on the game page you can find more videos of different types such as Let's Plays, reviews, popular videos, past live streams, and more. It's a busy interface, but there's also a lot to watch and go through.
YouTube Gaming is going to be compared to Twitch a lot, and for good reason. The big advantage of YouTube Gaming is its direct integration with a vast archive of YouTube videos and video creators that produce new content just for YouTube every day (this includes trailers, reviews, how-tos, and lots more non-live stream content). The decision to create game pages with automatic categorization of videos seems like a smart one to me, and the entire app feels lively and fun (try to search for games, for example).
I wouldn't be surprised if this becomes effectively the default way of finding gaming content on YouTube in the future, with the main YouTube app as a fallback for everything else. You can download the iOS app (US and UK only for now) here.