Google has been steadily updating YouTube to run high frame-rate (HFR) video, and the silky smooth 60 frames per second is coming to YouTube’s iOS and Android mobile apps this month.
HFR was originally added to YouTube in October last year, allowing video game channels to stream videos at 720p 60fps or 1080p 60fps. The difference in the frame rate was quite astounding, compared to frame rate difference in a video game.
YouTube started pushing HFR on its streaming platform in May this year, allowing video streamers to stick at a high frame-rate. It is not a surprise iOS and Android received the update a few months later, considering the size of mobile viewership on YouTube.
The YouTube Gaming platform will undoubtedly feature the same high frame-rate when it launches in the summer.
Google has been slow to react to the growing gaming community on YouTube, instead trying to diversify attention and grow niche brands. The YouTube Gaming platform appears to be focused on eSports and professional gamers, a direct competitor to Twitch.TV.
Whether adding 60fps is enough to win over the gaming community is another matter. YouTube still has a poor reputation due to its DMCA policy, allowing game developers upset with criticism to take down all videos showing gameplay.
The rather sluggish performance in other areas of YouTube, like running high resolution video without taking up a huge amount of bandwidth, is also a problem. Google may need to optimise its entire back-end for YouTube Gaming, to make sure the streaming site doesn’t falter for users on lower speed connections.