Amazon-owned Twitch may dominate the market right now, but Google wants in on the gaming video action. Enter YouTube Gaming, the gaming video service launching later this summer, that we were able to try out on Day 3 of the E3 2015 show in Los Angeles.

We tested a “dogfood” (pre-release) version of YouTube Gaming on a Nexus 6, and straight from the beginning we could see it’s clearly distinct (with some resemblances) from the omnipresent YouTube. Visually, the Material Design UI features a black and orange color scheme, with a search bar at the top, a carousel showing featured content, a menu bar with links to games, channels, and feeds, and a list of current videos at the bottom.

Opening up a video reveals a tabbed interface with details, comments, and suggested content. You can also browse content by game, in which case you can see reviews, Let’s Play videos, a description of the game, popular content, and an Explore section. Or, you can follow your favorite gaming channels, including all the big popular ones, like PewDiePie, and thousands others.

youtube gaming

Like on YouTube, there will be ads for monetization – we spotted a 15 second un-skippable ad playing before the beginning of a live feed video, though there will probably be other kinds of ads as well.

Google plans to release YouTube Gaming apps across major platforms, both for content creators and for users. Besides the Android app, we took a brief look at the desktop version of the YouTube Gaming web app running on a Chromebook, and we were really impressed with its fresh and fluid interface that was reminiscent of the Play Store design.

Users stand to win when two strong players go head to head, and from what we’ve seen so far, it looks like YouTube Gaming will be able to mount a serious assault on the reigning Twitch. Let us know your thoughts and stay tuned for more content from E3 2015!

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