It’s a scenario from a player’s nightmare, which happens too often. You return from work ready to relax, and a roommate, spouse or brother or sister catches your desktop or laptop to play. Or, in an equally stressful scenario, someone bites in full Squid game on a monitor or TV that kills Spartan noobs (or anything else).
Only that your games are not connected to a specific device and that device is not connected to a single screen. Alienware thinks it has a solution, but let me say in the preface that it is not one you will enjoy soon.
Announced in preparation for CES 2022, the Nyx company concept is a vision of the future in which one game streaming server in your home is capable of streaming multiple instances simultaneously from a central game library. It’s all pretty conceptual at its current stage, so let me break some of that down to you.
See the giant box above? It’s a server, if you will – a gaming system that, in the ideal world of Alienware, could run four games at once and transfer them via Wi-Fi to an app that can be accessed on any of your devices, whether it’s a tablet , telephone, desktop computer, TV or laptop. You can then immediately switch from playing on the tablet to the TV when your roommate finishes watching the last episode.
The goal is to make access to games as easy as streaming movies or TV shows, except without the need to switch between a dozen different services. Alienware says this app will host all your games, no matter where you bought them.
Here’s how Alienware envisions the Nyx concept:
“Imagine you’re on your desktop in your bedroom and exploring Night City in Cyberpunk 2077. Your roommates are on their laptops and tablets in the living room, fighting each other in the Rocket League. And your cousin is also done, casually building a new world in Minecraft on her cell phone. Let’s say now it’s time to prepare dinner so go downstairs and pass the controller on to one of your roommates – you can quickly switch to your CyberPunk 2077 experience on a 65-inch TV in the living room and let them pick up right where you left off, improve your game while you cook. ”
You may be wondering how this differs from current cloud gaming solutions, such as Nvidia’s GeForce Now or Google Stadium. Computing is on the edge here, so a high-performance gaming system can handle everything locally (instead of traveling to a remote server), allowing for lower latency and higher bandwidth.
All of this sounds like a dream scenario for players, and unfortunately, that’s exactly what it is: a dream. There are some non-trivial technological barriers that need to be overcome, not to mention potential compatibility issues — oh, and that chip-lacking issue. We saw some of these difficulties first hand in the backlog demo of Nyx trying to stream Rocket League and Cyberpunk 2077 at the same time (frankly, it’s not clear what caused the technical difficulties, although the culprit is usually bad wifi in those press locations).
Like other concepts (Luna, Money and others) that Dell / Alienware unveiled this month, Nyx is at an early stage, and Alienware said nothing specific about prices, upgradeability or specifications. While there is no certainty that Nyx will ever come to market, we can take a little comfort in knowing that mega-corporations sometimes relate to our pain – and we will occasionally try to do something about it.