YouTube has announced that Android phones will soon be able to stream live video to YouTube Gaming, in a move partly designed to capitalize on the popularity of mobile gaming in Japan and elsewhere. The incoming feature will also let you add video and audio commentary via your device’s front camera and a headset, and you’ll be able to record and upload game play clips to YouTube from Google Play Games.
The update doesn’t have a date set yet, but is said to be coming “soon,” along with a Japanese version of the new YouTube Gaming app. Japan will also be the first market in Asia to get YouTube Gaming following the launch last month in the US and UK; the announcement comes on the first day of Tokyo Game Show. “Japan’s mobile games define its gaming culture, far more so than in other countries,” says YouTube’s global gaming head Ryan Wyatt in a statement. “This trend shows there’s a real need for gamers to easily share what’s on their screen with the gaming community, as it happens.”
YouTube Gaming faces an considerable battle to compete with Amazon-owned Twitch, which has built a loyal following in the core video games community. But by focusing on mobile in untapped markets like Japan, as well as providing a slick interface and smart features like rewinding, YouTube could well find ways to set itself apart.