Microsoft using E3 giveaway to promote Mixer streaming service

Free games offered to Xbox users as platform holder strives to establish Twitch rival

E3 is playing a key role in Microsoft's strategy when it comes to rolling out new streaming service Mixer.

Anyone watching the livestream of last night's Xbox press conference will have failed to miss the regular pop-ups prompting users to link their Xbox account to Mixer for access to Microsoft's Mixpot giveaway.

This offer includes three free games for anyone who tunes into either the main conference of Xbox's follow-up streams later this week, with the freebies including Rare Replay, No Time To Explain and The Final Station, GameSpot reports. Mixer users will also receive free DLC for Halo Wars 2, Minecraft and Hawken.

While free game giveaways are nothing new, Microsoft's use of the promotion to get Xbox One users engaging with its new streaming service could prove crucial to establishing it as a popular platform - and what better time to direct people towards it than with the week-long hype circus that is E3?

Microsoft acquired Mixer, then known as Beam, back in August 2016 and revealed it to be a cornerstone of its Windows 10 Creators Update just a few months later. A companion update to Xbox One released back in March made Beam even more accessible to console users, allowing them to start broadcasting their gameplay sessions after just a few button presses.

Last month, Microsoft rebranded the service as Mixer. We interviewed the company at the time about its ambitions for livestreaming and turning more of its audience into broadcasters. E3 2017 appears to be a crucial step along that journey.

With Twitch well-established as the go-to streaming platform for video games, Microsoft has a tough battle ahead of it but a handful of free titles could help establish the foundations of a thriving community. The platform holder will no doubt be relying on Mixer at future press conferences, such as Gamescom in August if it decides to host one.

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