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Microsoft Relaunches Beam as Mixer, Adds Support for Co-op Streaming

Up to four streamers can share one stream that splits the screen into four windows, just like playing couch co-op with your friends.


Microsoft has rebranded and launched Beam as Mixer, a streaming service built into Xbox One's Guide and Windows 10's Game Bar. Mixer simplifies the process of streaming gameplay and, as part of its relaunch, touts a new split-screen feature.

"You and up to three other friends can deliver a stream that combines separate stream sources into one shared 'split-screen' view, including a centralized chat experience. Co-streaming is available now for everyone," wrote Beam—now Mixer—co-founder Matt Salsamendi wrote in an update announcing the service's rebranding and features. "And in the coming weeks, Xbox One users will be able to invite friends to join a co-stream directly from the Guide."

Salsamendi addressed the name change to Mixer, acknowledging that dropping "Beam" was a difficult decision made for business concerns. "We believe so much in the power of the platform and want to grow it in every major market around the world. Unfortunately, that wasn’t something we could do with the Beam name. We chose Mixer as our new name because it represents what we love most about the service….how it brings people together."

Microsoft acquired Beam earlier this year. One of the service's primary features, which continues to thrive in Mixer, is a suite of interactive elements that allow viewers to add challenges and weigh in on which quests to complete and weapons to cart around. In my write-up about Microsoft's acquisition, I compared the service to Dungeons & Dragons, where the person in control takes input from a group rather than making all decisions unilaterally.

"We think we have something pretty special here, and are excited to share it with you," Salsamendi wrote. 

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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