Alienware’s Concept Nyx is an at-home gaming server that may never exist
Over the last few years, Dell (and its gaming brand, Alienware) has grown fond of showing off concept devices – as a potential look at what may be coming down the road.
In fact, it’s a growing trend in the consumer electronics industry at large, taking a page out of the automotive world’s book. Depending on how you look at it, it’s either an intriguing glimpse into a potential future or a bit of a red herring.
For Dell, it’s an opportunity to gauge community interest for a technology that’s not quite ready for primetime. The best known recent example is Concept UFO, a handheld gaming console Alienware showed off this time last year, which, to date, is still very much a concept.
Concept Nyx joins the product this year, essentially operating as an at-home server that can stream games throughout the home. The ultimate idea behind the product lets houses stream multiple games to multiple devices at once, regardless of the hardware they’re playing on. The controller, meanwhile, serves as the primary contact, connecting to a smart TV, computer or other device and playing the game through a Dell app.
There are likely some kinks to work out, including pricing and the sort of compute power necessary to play as stream multiple games at once. Adding a bunch of CPUs and GPUs onto a product adds up pretty fast, though none of this sounds too far outside of the realm of possibility, streaming over home WiFi.
I think the bigger question at hand is how much demand there is for a thing. I suspect a large portion of its potential audience have already invested in gaming PCs or consoles. And even if they haven’t, such a product would have to be competitively priced – certainly the promise of streaming two (or even four) games at once in a house isn’t worth a product that costs the same as two consoles for most scenarios.
The company writes in a blog post,
We have been looking at how to power four game streams simultaneously, smart switching among devices, and drawing from a central library of all your games regardless of where you purchase them. Gaming on Concept Nyx aims to be as effortless as accessing your favorite music, TV shows and movies. Imagine a simple app loaded on each device delivering instant access to all your games for a more seamless gaming experience across devices in the home. Imagine no more fighting with your family or roommates over game time (you can still fight over groceries and laundry). Wouldn’t it be nice to tear down the barricades so that everyone can game on their own terms?
Again, this is firmly in the concept phase, but in its current iteration, Nyx sounds likely to be nixed before hitting the market.