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The team at Mixer is attempting to make a huge improvement to games broadcasting on the Xbox One, making it possible for users to plug in their own webcams instead of just the Kinect.
Over on the Mixer blog, they've announced that webcam support is in the early testing stages for some Xbox One users. Until now, streamers were limited to basically two setups. The first includes streaming your gameplay only, with your voice provided via mic. The second allows for you to include footage of yourself alongside the gameplay, but only if you were using a Kinect camera.
It seems that Microsoft and Mixer have realized that not too many folks jumped on that Kinect train, but plenty still want to be able to broadcast themselves alongside their gameplay. To that end, they're doing a beta test for standard USB cameras to be used instead of a Kinect. While the hope is to make this a universally available feature, it's currently limited to only some Xbox One gamers.
Starting today, support for USB webcams on Xbox One arrives for Xbox Insiders (Preview Alpha Ring)---including the ability to plug in and use them for broadcasting on Mixer!
So if you're in that particular group, all you have to do is plug in your own webcam to your Xbox One and see how it works. But again, this is a testing phase, so they want plenty of feedback about the camera you are using and the quality of streaming it provides. That's the only way they're going to be able to improve the service, and hopefully make it so that one day everyone will be able to use whatever camera they want while streaming Gears or Halo or whatever you kids are into these days.
As a reminder, you'll need to report your feedback directly through the Xbox One for this ongoing project, not the Mixer support channels. And if you're interested in jumping in but aren't an Xbox Insider yet, the process is simple. Just hop onto the Store through your console, search for "Xbox Insider Hub," get that bad boy downloaded and get ready to help Microsoft and companies like Mixer test out their various games, updates and apps before sending them out into the world.
As a heads up, you'll want to keep using a microphone during this testing period, as Mixer's Josh Stein points out.
Because many 'off the shelf' USB webcams do not offer echo cancellation like Kinect, this is presently limited to video capture only -- those camera streaming will still require the use of a headset/microphone setup to include broadcast audio.
We definitely love the idea of more people being able to stream more easily, so here's hoping everything goes smoothly.