Crazy coders enable full-screen Crysis play on Eee PC
Think Asus' elfin Eee PC isn't up to a quick Crysis or Quake 4 session? Its meagre Intel integrated graphic chip could never deliver anything but sub-zero frame rates? Think again - it can.
So claims website StreamMyGame, which uses web technology to deliver PC-hosted gameplay of these very high-end PC-oriented titles onto rather less well-endowed terminals... like the Eee PC and all the other Small, Cheap Computers out there.
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StreamMyGame today said its app was now ready to run full-screen on both Linux- and Windows-based versions of the Eee, new and old.
Asus Eee PC and friend: beach BioShock, anyone?
There's a catch, of course: you need to own a kick-ass system capable of running the game - the Eee simply operates as a remote wireless - yet lag-free - display and input device. If you're at home, you'd surely want to use the full-size screen and keyboard of your main machine, but if it performs as promised, StreamMyGame's tech at least lets you continue your campaign even when you're out and about.
Or at school, for instance, if you get given a shiny new RM miniBook next term.
You can find a full list of compatible handhelds at the StreamMyGame website here.
I'm no expert but I believe this is how these game streaming services encode lag free:
A standard video encoder does not know what is coming in the next frame - it could be a minor change or a cut to a new scene - so it must scan each frame and compare it to the previous frame to discover the differences. This scan for differences is the most time consuming part of the encoding process and introduces lag.
With a video game streaming service like the one above, a special encoder hooks into the game code and video driver so that it knows in advance what parts of a frame have changed from the previous frame. This dramatically reduces lag, allowing even fast action games to be played via a compressed video stream.
T5 labs does this and actually has a proper business plan.
Another British company - T5 labs - does something very similar but is building it's business around partnerships with cable tv companies and game publishers.
At some point in the near future you'll be able to play games running on a remote server by just plugging a controller or a mouse and keyboard into your cable tv set top box. The stb tunes into a lag free mpeg2 stream of the game.
Check out their website: http://www.t5labs.com/
If you have a BT line you might be able to get 2.3Mbit up from Be* on ADSL2.
I can up 200KByte/s most days. oh and down at 2MByte/s :) tis sweet I tell ya!
oh and 13ms Ping if your interested.
Otherwise most isp's limit to 128kbit or 250kbit up
Compressing down to 20% is easy - beefy systems can do live 1080p video (over 1000mbit) into 12mbit already, with almost no perceptible loss - about 1% the size of the original. Most games would be much more compressible than that too, due to the lack of film grain, clean edges to shapes etc. At 1024*600 25fps you'd be looking at approx 1.5mbit for pretty seamless quality, 1mbit for good enough.
Course, latency issues......
My cupboard DOES run Linux....
Well, my server is in a room that's smaller than some pantries/wardrobes... I assume that counts :p