While E3 2019 was somewhat weak in terms of mobile gaming related content, Bethesda sure stepped up and announced big ticket items that will please all types of mobile gamers!
Orion – Cloud Gaming Platform to complement Stadia from Google and xCloud from Microsoft
While the intent of the platform would first be to give access to a variety of games to complement what Google is providing with Stadia and what Microsoft is providing with xCloud, Orion will NOT be a competitor to the two previously mentioned platforms. In fact, the emphasis on the word ‘complement’ is extremely important. The technology will optimize game engines, not the devices used to run the games. It will optimize games for use on the cloud.
Developed by the engineers at id Software, Orion is a collection of patented game streaming technologies aimed at reducing latency, bandwidth and computing power requirements needed to deliver a streaming experience that compares with a non-streaming experience.
In short, people will probably never hear the word ‘Orion’ ever again, but this technology will allow for a smoother cloud gaming experience, which will be available with Bethesda’s games under Stadia and xCloud platforms. Orion will reportedly reduce:
- Bandwidth requirements by up to 40%
- Time required to encode a frame of video by up to 30%
- Computer power by up to 20%
Now, how does this apply to mobile gaming?
Despite Bethesda having been able to deliver a very solid game for handheld devices, The Elder Scrolls: Blades, one cannot deny that the future is aimed towards cloud gaming platforms, and that most of it will likely take place on handheld devices, i.e. your smartphone. That being said, clearly, smartphones do not have the same specs as computers, and thankfully, Orion addresses the main issue with cloud gaming, especially in relation to smartphones:
Minimum internet speed requirement of 25Mbps
Until 5G becomes available worldwide, which might take a while in most regions of the world as there seems to be a recurrent debate on health concerns related to the network, 4G/LTE users have access to a 5Mbps to 12 Mpbs speed (unless using wifi). This means that people intending to use cloud gaming platforms outside a decent wifi network, which let’s be honest doesn’t exist outside of your home, will be impossible.
While there isn’t any confirmation that Orion will be a solution to this issue, it certainly won’t worsen the situation for mobile gamers. Furthermore, Bethesda has announced a trial phase that will be sent out to select members of Doom Slayers Club in order to stream/test Orion on iOS 11+ devices with DOOM 2016. You can sign up right here.
Commander Keen returns to mobile devices soon!
Many of you might not know of Commander Keen, but it was a very popular game series from 1990-91 (MS-DOS) which had a sequel in 2001 (Game Boy Color). The series focuses Commander Keen, an 8 year-old genius named Billy Blaze as he defends our precious Earth and the entire Galaxy from Alien threats. Billy has a homemade spaceship and uses pogos (not to confuse with PoGO) as weapons.
The new installment in the series will be a “modern take” on the classic series, and will feature a new character alongside Billy, Billie! Players will be able to “build wacky gadgets from household items”, summon allies using cool gadgets, attack aliens, etc. The game will feature a story-mode and a PvP mode where people will be able to battle against their friends!
Commander Keen is coming soon to mobile devices, and people can pre-register right here.