Google launches Twitch clone YouTube Gaming with companion iOS, Android apps

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Google officially launched YouTube Gaming on Wednesday, entering into direct competition with Amazon's Twitch for live and pre-recorded videogame content.

Although it incorporates all of the on-demand game content already on YouTube, the new platform places a stronger emphasis on live streams. Visiting the main website will show a list of active channels, and in fact automatically begin playing live videos (on mute) from a rotating carousel.

Search and sidebar menus offer options to track specific games or channels, the latter of which can be imported from existing YouTube subscriptions. The website also includes options uploading a video, or beginning a live stream.

Streams can run up to 60 frames-per-second, and offer real-time chat. To reach a broader audience, content can also be saved as on-demand clips for later viewing.

Google has also launched matching iOS and Android apps for the service. These are functionally similar to the website, minus recording and upload options. Users can however receive notifications when a favorite channel goes live, or push videos to media streamers that support Google's Cast protocol. As with the regular YouTube app, videos can be minimized to keep playing while browsing.

The iOS app is a free download, and runs on any device with iOS 7 or later.