In classic CES fashion, Dell-owned gaming PC company Alienware is showing off a concept device you’ll probably never be able to buy that can power games across multiple screens in your home.
Engadget, which detailed Alienware’s ‘Concept Nyx’ extensively, described it as a Plex server but for video games. In short, Nyx appears to be a powerful gaming PC set up as a server. It handles all the complexities of gaming — rendering the content, connecting to networks, receiving inputs, etc. Then, Nyx streams the visuals over your local Wi-Fi network to whatever display you want to use, be it your TV, monitor or smartphone.
Perhaps the most unique part of Concept Nyx is Alienware’s pitch is that it can play multiple games simultaneously, even on the same screen. This looks really cool on paper (and in Alienware’s promotional material), almost like the couch co-op gaming of the early console era, except everyone on the couch can play their own game.
In practice, the feature doesn’t quite live up to Alienware’s pitch, according to Engadget reporters who went hands-on with Nyx. Engadget says running games simultaneously on a TV caused them to show up in tiny windows rather than cover half the screen like how Alienware shows it in promo materials.
Still, it is Concept Nyx, after all, so some hiccups are to be expected. Alienware representatives also couldn’t share details about what powers Nyx.
Further, since Nyx is a concept, there’s a chance it will never become a product that people can actually buy. Engadget notes that Alienware previously integrated parts of concept devices into new products. I could see future Alienware gaming PCs shipping with a Nyx app that lets you run games and stream them to another screen.
There are already ways to stream games over your local network
Of course, several products already do this. Popular PC game store and launcher Steam has a built-in ‘Remote Play’ feature that lets users launch a game on their computer and stream the visuals to another device (like a laptop with Steam or a smartphone). There’s also Nvidia’s ‘GameStream’ for playing games from your Nvidia-powered PC on an Nvidia Shield TV device.
While there’s a lot of potential with Nyx and other local streaming options, I also have to note that local streaming isn’t that great (at least in my experience). The few times I’ve tried to use Steam Remote Play, I’ve run into countless issues. Whenever I finally got it to work, the actual experience playing games was frustrating due to immense input lag. Others have had better luck than I have, but local streaming still needs some work before it can be a reliable option for most gamers.
You can check out more news from CES 2022 here.
Image credit: Dell (via Engadget)