Concept Nyx is Alienware’s take on a home game server

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Enlarge / RGB not included.

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It is not uncommon to have multiple players living under one roof. But what happens when all these players want to play at the same time? The chaos of Wi-Fi, arguing over who will use the best gear, and often parting as family members retreat to their respective play caves. Alienware seeks to solve this problem, with a powerful and mysterious computer.

An R&D project announced today, Concept Nyx is essentially a home server with sufficient computing power to allow multiple people to simultaneously stream PC games to it. I checked out a prototype in person and saw it power two gaming sessions at once: one user rubbing on a non-gaming laptop and another on a larger screen suitable for a living room.

The idea is that household members can stream their games to the computer at the same time.
Enlarge / The idea is that household members can stream their games to the computer at the same time.

Alienware

Alienware showed me two players playing at the same time, but their lab is currently testing Concept Nyx with four players playing simultaneously. A spokesperson told me that there was “basically no performance drop” when adding a person, but the demo was not long enough (less than 10 minutes) to confirm this. for me.

Concept Nyx is like cloud gaming services like Nvidia GeForce Now and Google Stadia, but instead of streaming games to a server in a remote data center, you stream one right to your home. Since everything happens more locally, Alienware expects “lower latency, higher bandwidth, and greater responsiveness,” said Glen Robson, technical director of Dell Technologies’ Customer Solutions group, in an article. blog today.

And like cloud gaming services, Concept Nyx would allow gaming on generally non-player devices. For example, you could theoretically play on a Dell XPS without a discrete graphics card.

Concept Nyx looks like a large office.
Enlarge / Concept Nyx looks like a large office.

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Obviously, all of this requires a lot of computing power. I could tell Concept Nyx was stacked based on its size, but Alienware did not confirm how many or how many processors, graphics cards, or other components inside it. It’s also unclear what kind of cooling techniques would be used to keep things cool for extended periods of time.

One thing I liked about Concept Nyx is that while it encourages family members to play frequently, it also encourages physical closeness, which you typically don’t associate with PC gaming. A split-screen feature that Alienware is experimenting with would allow two players to play on the same screen at the same time. It means you can play Infinite halo while your child is playing Cyberpunk 2077, and both of them are enjoying the best screen in the house while sitting next to them and dare I say talking to each other.

Alienware also demonstrated Concept Nyx by keeping track of where you are in the game, so you can switch from your bedroom computer to the living room computer and continue playing with ease.

What's inside?

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In a similar vein, Concept Nyx seeks to simplify access to the game by unifying all PC games under one application, regardless of where you originally got it from. “Playing on Concept Nyx aims to be as easy as accessing your favorite music, TV shows and movies,” said Robson.

As a concept, Alienware may never turn it into something you can actually buy. However, Alienware will continue to develop the project, so it’s possible that we may one day see something like this or even some of its functionality in a shipping product.

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