Today, Twitch is the default service when it comes to streaming video games on the internet. Tomorrow? It might be Google. Maybe.

YouTube just announced a number of improvements to its streaming capabilities that are going to be of interest to anyone who plays games in front of other people.

Google’s video service now supports 60fps streaming in both 1080p and 720p, same as Twitch, but because it’s YouTube, it also supports HTML5 playback, which not only uses less resources than flash (which Twitch is stuck with), but lets you do this:

As of this week, YouTube live streams will use an HTML5 player in supported browsers. And because our HTML5 player supports variable speed playback, you can skip backward in a stream while it’s live and watch at 1.5x or 2x speed to catch back up.


Handy. Whether it convinces anyone currently using Twitch for its community (and established celebrities) and god-awful chat, though, is another matter.