Full circle! Cloud gaming can be pretty nice — games running on remote servers means you don’t need expensive hardware that probably takes up a lot of space, you don’t need all the local storage, and you can in theory access your games on any device. Of course, if you’ve followed cloud gaming over the years, you know it’s never looked that rosy. Accessing resource-intensive games across large distances requires the absolute best internet service (and the absolute best routers and mesh networks), and even then, the latency can be a killer in faster-paced games. So, what’s the solution? Dell has introduced Concept Nyx at CES 2022, and it wants to solve the problem by moving that server back into the home.
We’ll address it at the top — yeah, we’re kinda talking about just bringing a big powerful computer back home. That’s the idea behind edge computing in general — taking a cloud service and moving some of the hardware that runs it to local areas nearer to users, improving performance. That sounds a bit like taking a long walk to get back where you started, but Concept Nyx promises you’ll come back with a little more than you started with.
Concept Nyx certainly would help fix the latency issue with cloud gaming, but it’s also targeting other problems that have been neglected — namely, disparate game platforms and the need to support multiple people playing different games in the same household. So, yeah needless to say at this point, but here it is — if Concept Nyx ever becomes a real product (as of now, it’s purely a concept), it’s going to be a hardware powerhouse out of necessity. We’re talking about a machine that would enable multiple people to stream anything from resource-intensive games like Cyberpunk 2077 down to Minecraft simultaneously, without lag, to their individual devices. Dell hasn’t talked much about specs, as this is just a concept, but whatever GPU this would use, there’s probably a severe shortage of it!
In theory, Concept Nyx would allow a user to play a game on their desktop in their bedroom, then move to a TV in the living room and pick up gameplay seamlessly — something that’s not unheard of today, but only possible with a lot more restrictions than what Dell is suggesting here. All you’d need is to take the controller with you — like, say, this Alienware UFO controller Dell also showed off.
This kind of flexibility with graphics-intensive games would be possible because the processing would happen locally, through Concept Nyx, instead of through faraway servers. The idea improves the concept of cloud gaming, overall, by minimizing what players hate — lag.
Apart from seamless switching between devices, the company is developing ways to stream four games simultaneously using smart switching among devices. This would be done by drawing from a central library of games regardless of platform — how they’d pull this off might just be one of the big question marks that is making Nyx a concept and not reality in the present.