At CES 2022, Alienware Concept unveiled Nyx, a game streaming platform that allows a household of gamers to simultaneously stream games to multiple TVs from one high-performance gaming PC. Stream from a PC at home is not a new concept (opens in new tab)though Alienware wants to streamline the experience, starting with the controller.
I got my hands on a Concept Nyx game controller at a recent Alienware event. While I didn’t play any games, I did get to play with many of the controller’s features.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Nyx controller is that instead of a true d-pad it has a circular touchpad that acts like a mouse to navigate in-game menus for titles traditionally intended for a keyboard and mouse. In fact, one of the pre-recorded gameplay demos I was shown had the touchpad mapped to abilities in Guild Wars 2. I would have loved to see this in action myself, as touchpads can be a bit finicky when they act as buttons and not for movement. I’m looking at you, Steam controller. (opens in new tab)
Most of the demo was mostly spent trying out the controller’s features and learning about its role in Nyx’s game streaming ecosystem. Think of the controller as your aisle pass for accessing your games on any TV in the house. You could walk into any room with the Nyx app installed on the TV, which instantly retrieves your gaming profile. The Alienware logo in the center is a fingerprint reader that identifies you, loads your game library, and even resumes your progress. The idea is that if you’re kicked off the TV for any reason, you can just pick up where you left off in another room.
My favorite controller feature is the “self-adjusting variable-resistance thumbsticks.” This means you can adjust the tension of the thumbstick on the fly without opening the controller or using tools. In addition to the thumbsticks setting, you can adjust the haptics of these controllers on a per-game basis. All this is controlled by two scroll wheels on the bottom of the controller. No software is required.
Multiple Nyx users can even share the screen to play two completely different games side-by-side at the same time, as long as they have two Nyx controllers. It’s something that sounds cool in theory, but can be distracting unless you have a huge TV in your living room.
In a press release, Dell and Alienware hope to use Concept Nyx’s computing power outside of gaming for mixed reality experiences and “virtual collaborative spaces” with “displays and other tools that remove the need for a VR headset” in less than a decade. .”
Of course, the folks at Alienware reiterated that this is a concept and there are no plans to release Concept Nyx anytime soon. As explained, it actually wanted to see how many “dream features” could be squeezed into a prototype. However, I can imagine that if such a controller were ever sold, it wouldn’t be cheap.
The company is no stranger to showing the public wild concepts that appear to have commercial potential but are never heard from again, such as the version of the Steam Deck, Concept of UFO (opens in new tab)a few years ago at CES.