Game Centered: Mobcrush Offers a New Way to Stream Mobile Gameplay

Look Out Twitch, Mobcrush is Poised to Dominate Mobile Game Streaming.

In this installment of Game Centered, I'd like to introduce all of you iOS gamers to Mobcrush (Free for iOS and Mac). The potential of this game streaming startup is tremendous. If I were looking for something in the tech sector to become an early investor in, Mobcrush would be one of those things. Mobcrush is poised to do something that the likes of Amazon's game-streaming behemoth Twitch and Google's newcomer YouTube Gaming have thus far been unable to offer: the ability to live stream mobile games directly from a mobile device. I really wanted to love Mobcrush, which is currently in beta, and in time I'm sure I will love Mobcrush. However, in its beta form Mobcrush delivered a somewhat underwhelming experience for several reasons. Here's a break down of all the pros and cons of this promising new platform.

Look Out Twitch, Mobcrush is Poised to Dominate Mobile Game Streaming.

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Mobcrush is an ambitious startup. Right out of the gate it's putting its focus squarely on mobile gaming, as opposed to primarily PC or console streaming like other major game streaming services.

In its finished form, Mobcrush will provide a platform that will allow anyone who owns a computer, smartphone, or a tablet, and has a strong Internet signal, to stream games and broadcast their gameplay with the tap of a button. The Mobcrush platform is just what mobile games need in order to establish themselves as legitimate contenders in the multi-billion dollar international eSports arena.

Right now, however, things aren't quite that simple. In its beta stage of development, Mobcrush only allows users to broadcast  their gameplay from desktop devices. While broadcasting from mobile devices will be supported in the near future, and in fact, is already supported for some broadcasters who have access to a different beta, no set date has been given for a public release of this feature, beta or otherwise. Until then, one of the key strong points and defining features of this platform is missing.

The other issue I had with Mobcrush was how much bandwidth it used up to broadcast. I live in a rural area, where we don't have Internet speeds like some city folk do. Nonetheless, we subscribe to a cable Internet service that provides 50 MB download speed and 3 MB upload speed, which you would think would be sufficient enough to both play and broadcast a game. However, when I connected my iPad to my computer and got to playing my game of choice these days, Vainglory, the reality proved quite the contrary. Even though Vainglory launched and let me choose a hero, as soon as the live multiplayer online battle began, my network couldn't handle both loads and I experienced such horrible in-game lag that I was faced with the choice of either making my team lose, or quitting my broadcast to regain some Wi-Fi signal strength. If you've ever played the MOBA Vainglory, then you already know that quitting a game or playing poorly is not only frowned upon, it can actually be penalized, so obviously I had to cut off my game broadcast in the interest of playing a good game.

Of course, as soon as I turned off my broadcast, my Wi-Fi strength came back and I was able to carry my weight in what is a fiercely competive game. So that was disappointing and hopefully the developers will take note so that when the app does finally become available on mobile devices, broadcasting and playing a game at the same time don't cancel one another out. That of course wouldn't go over too well with the rather demanding iOS core gaming community.

Pros:

  • This app has tremendous potential. I could see this streaming platform becoming a major player on the eSport scene.
  • Excellent iOS app interface. Stylish and intuitive.
  • When the developers get the kinks worked out, this platform will help mobile games become legitimate contenders in eSports.
  • No ads! So far.

Cons:

  • The desktop app wouldn't let me play data intensive games while broadcasting a stream, even with 50 Mb down/3 Mb up network speeds.
  • Can't stream from mobile devices, yet. Until then, a major feature is missing.
  • Can't delete uploaded streams from desktop, only from mobile devices. What that means is that for most of us trying the platform out, we'd have to broadcast from our desktop/laptop and delete any unwanted video from our iPhone or iPad. Somewhat of a round-about way to achieve a goal, but hey, it's beta.

Look Out Twitch, Mobcrush is Poised to Dominate Mobile Game Streaming.

Final Verdict:

If you aren't expecting a finished masterpiece then by all means, I'd say go and download the iOS app, and if you're feeling adventurous, you might as well check out the Mobcrush Mac desktop app and try your hand at streaming. You can even give the developers your feedback while its in beta and hopefully help improve the experience the app will deliver when it comes out of beta. If, however, you are looking for a streaming experience that has been fine tuned to perfection, you might want to hold out until the official iOS app makes its way to the App Store. Hopefully that won't be much longer.

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Dig Om's picture

As Senior Gear Editor at iPhone Life, Dig reports on the latest and greatest accessories built for the iOS ecosystem. From rugged gear and Bluetooth speakers, to headphones, unique iDevice cases, and iOS remote controlled vehicles, Dig's articles cover a wide range of great gear for the iPhone and iPad. A core gamer for over three decades, Dig also writes iPhone Life's Game Centered column, which focuses on the best iOS games and game related news. Additionally, Dig's company, iDoc Tech Support, offers web design and administration services as well as iPhone and iPad repairs. When not at his work desk, Dig loves spending time with family and enjoying the wonders of nature. You can follow him on Twitter @idoctech