YouTube launches new gaming site as it plays catch-up with Twitch

YouTube's new gaming app and website will host classic games, including the "Zelda" series.

YouTube’s new gaming app and website will host classic games, including the “Zelda” series.

(Nintendo / Nintendo)

Ahead of the video game industry’s big E3 convention next week, YouTube is launching a new gaming app and website to provide a better experience to an online community that has flocked to alternatives.

The new app, announced Friday, highlights the company’s attempt to compete with Twitch, an online streaming service that focuses on video gaming. Twitch says its site hosts more than a million broadcasters and 100 million visitors per month.

YouTube’s new app will combine videos, games and live streaming with the aim of creating the biggest community of gamers on the Web.

YouTube says its new app will include videos on about more than 25,000 games, including classic titles like “Asteroids” and “Zelda” that have their own pages. For example, a user can view a video that shows how to navigate a certain level, or watch a live stream of other people playing the game.


YouTube Gaming will be available to the public in the U.S. and U.K. this summer.

Besides some of the features that already exist on the video sharing website like high-resolution streaming at 60 frames per second, the company is redesigning its system to make it simpler to broadcast game-play and create live events.

The redesign will allow users to create a single link to share all of their streams, and eliminate the need to schedule a live event ahead of time.

Gamers will also get recommendations for new games based on the games and channels they already enjoy. And searches will be more accurate. For example, typing “grand” in a search box will show “Grand Theft Auto” and not “Grand Budapest Hotel.”