What you need to know
- Xbox players used to be able to stream gameplay from their console to Mixer, Microsoft's streaming platform.
- After MIxer closed, players were left without an easy and casual way to stream from Xbox consoles.
- Today, Microsoft is beginning to test built-in Twitch live streaming with Xbox Insiders on the Alpha Skip-Ahead branch.
- In other news, Microsoft is officially rolling out Xbox Party Chat speech transcription and synthesis to all players.
In June 2020, Microsoft officially closed down Mixer, the company's in-house streaming platform. While the move seemed inevitable at the time, it did leave Xbox players without an easy way to stream their favorite games and gameplay directly from their console. Well over a year later, Microsoft is now testing Twitch live streaming with select Xbox Insiders, providing a built-in method for streaming without a game capture card or a separate app.
Only available to Insiders on the Alpha Skip-Ahead branch of the Xbox Insider Program at the moment, players will now be able to sign-in with a Twitch account and seamlessly stream the best Xbox games to the streaming platform. You can test this out by navigating to the "Live streaming" option under "Capture & share" in the Xbox Guide, which should be pretty familiar to anyone who used the Mixer solution in ages past. This feature only streams gameplay footage, and will not display the Xbox UI or other elements of the Xbox OS on Twitch.
If testing goes well, the Twitch live streaming option should, hopefully, roll out to all Xbox console players in the next few months. Until then, those who are willing to deal with potential bugs and issues can enroll in the Xbox Insider Program for a chance to test the feature (and others) a little early. Of course, players can also use the Twitch app to stream from their Xbox consoles, but this new method is built directly into the OS and should be even easier for players to use (and may offer higher quality streaming).
In other news, Microsoft is delivering a feature it announced on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, with the arrival of Xbox Party Chat speech transcription and synthesis rolling out to all players today. Speech-to-text transcription automatically transcribes the words of all players in the Party and displays them on-screen for you, while text-to-speech synthesis lets you type responses and messages in the Party Chat and have them audibly spoken to all players with a synthetic voice.
Both of these important accessibility features are becoming available to players right now, and are part of Xbox's continued efforts to make gaming and Xbox consoles more inclusive to players all over the world.
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.