Steam Broadcasting brings livestreaming gameplay to your desktop

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Steam has introduced a new #service called Steam Broadcasting that allows players to #watch their friends play #games with the click of a mouse.

When you see a friend is in a game – either from their profile or your Friends List – you’ll see a button that says “watch game.” Click it and voila!

In order to give Steam Broadcasting a go you and your friends need to opt into the Steam Client Beta. To do this, simply go into your settings menu and change your “Beta Participation” to “Steam Beta Update.”

Steam users will be able to select who gets to watch their games, with options for anyone, friends only, only friends that you invite, or set it so friends can request to watch but you’ll need to accept before they gain access. The first time you get a viewing request you will be presented with the broadcasting options.

To start broadcasting your game, just click the Stream button and your friends will be able to watch your game session. A great way to get a better of idea of how a game plays or live-chat via text. But for Linux users, you will have to log into your Steam account with Google Chrome to be able to watch your friends session for now. And Mac users can do the same thing with Safari.

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Steam Broadcasting currently only supports live streaming so you cannot record a game session to stream it later. And the service is currently only supported through the Steam Client on Windows 7 and 8, with Linux and Mac support to be added later.

You can see the appeal here, obviously Valve are catering to their larger desktop market, but even more interesting will be the integrate broadcasting capability. What are we talking about? Steam Machines and SteamOS of course. Having the ability to livestream your gameplay to a service like Twitch.tv from your living room. The Playstation 4 has this feature built in, so we would probably expect Valve to be able to compete in the same way for SteamOS. All in all, this is a great start and huge added bonus for Steam as a gaming client.

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