Something that doesn’t get enough mention in the discussion over the prominence of Twitch and video streaming services in 2017 (not quite a year ago, mind you) is the colossal fact that Twitch pervasively blocks major streams of video games. Gaming is social, but Twitch has mostly made it so that social is reserved for watching games.

I’ve heard rumblings before that this might change in the near future, and now it looks like one new player has offered up a glimpse of the future. Author Jeff Shin writes for TechCrunch about a mysterious new Twitch feature called Nintendo Jr. but more pointedly, the report offers an excerpt of Shin’s conversation with Twitch engineer Dan Arvizu about Nintendo Jr. and how it might work.

Quoting both Arvizu and Shin, here’s what we know of Nintendo Jr. from the Twitch engineer’s comments and from the brief excerpt Arvizu provided in a text message to TechCrunch:

● Nintendo Jr. consists of a video stream monitor that’s an HTML5 player and saves data on the streamer’s computer (the stream can still be played from a web browser). ● Nintendo Jr. broadcasts live Nintendo game data in the browser and on the cloud while the streamer also shows live data from the PC using the Cloud Console. → Nintendo Jr. will always be accessible through the Cloud Console. However, during certain live events and times that are displayed on stream monitors, Nintendo Jr. will be shown on the player monitor. But when available, Nintendo Jr. can be used to temporarily give access to streams using the Cloud Console.

In other words, when a new mode for a game is revealed on a Nintendo device like the Switch, the game will be broadcast on Nintendo Jr. and then available for download. This makes sense because the breadth of what is available on the Cloud Console is often lower than what’s on the consoles (and is often substantially lower than what is available on major streamers).

This is the crux of how Nintendo Jr. will work: The streamer displays the gameplay while Nintendo Jr. records it as part of the Cloud Console, which then allows the streamer to use a streaming device to access the game. It’s true that this effectively decreases the importance of traditional Twitch streaming, but I’d be surprised if Twitch had all this in place for too long. Nintendo is a valuable partner to Twitch in some regards, but in others, it’s a notorious thorn in its side. Regardless, Nintendo would have no problem if it became a proper rival.

Sure, Nintendo is more than a decade old, but it’s still a major player in the world of gaming. Last year, it had the No. 1 console worldwide, and for more than a decade it was king of handheld gaming. Let’s just hope this isn’t a pipe dream for the next decade.

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