Want to play your favorite PC games anywhere and on any network-connected device? Kinoni may have what you’re looking for with the KinoConsole. Unlike Nvidia’s game streaming technology, you’re not required to have a specific GPU in the gaming PC, nor does the receiving device need a specific chip. This service appears to run on most hardware.
“Nvidia Shield is great device, it’s our benchmark really,” Kinoni CEO Sami Gröhn told Tom’s Hardware. “But in its current state, it is very limited; you need a recent high-end Nvidia desktop GPU and their Android device. That can be costly. Based on Steam statistics, Nvidia has a 50 percent market share, and how many of those Nvidia GPU’s do support game streaming? Probably less than half, so most gamers are not able to use their service.”
“Talking about Steam, they also have an excellent game streaming solution (Steam In-Home Streaming), but very limited in its current state; it's only available on PCs,” Gröhn added. “Both Nvidia and Steam streaming solutions lack playing over Internet, [and] based on our testing, 4G LTE network latency is acceptable for gaming.”
To get this game streaming system set up, customers need the PC server software installed and the mobile client, which currently is only available on Windows Phone. A beta client for Android is expected to be released within a month, and the iOS beta player will come as soon as Apple enables the TestFlight service on iOS 8. However, because KinoConsole is sponsored by Microsoft’s AppCampus program, Windows Phone got a three-month “exclusivity” head start.
“Our plan is to create a platform-independent solution that runs on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Windows tablets,” Gröhn told us. “Creating the server side with all low-level screen capture and low-latency video encoding is the difficult part; the client is really just a video player. There is no reason why someone playing on iPad couldn't use an on-screen control layout created by a friend playing on Surface RT. That’s our goal.”
The Windows Phone app was made available on July 22. Gröhn admitted that the launch was rushed, but the team wanted to get feedback as soon as possible. That said, this week Kinoni will release a “big update” that will include full screen capture, a game launching fix, improved on-screen controls and more. The app also supports the MOGA Android controller.
Some of the listed KinoConsole features include support for gamepads, Steam integration, industry standard SSL encryption, and customizable on-screen game controls. The site doesn’t provide system requirements, but Gröhn did mention that users can install the server software on a gaming PC. That means if the game is running slow on the PC, then it will run even slower when streaming to a mobile device.
“If a game is running 120 frames per second, it should still run at least 60 frames per second while streaming with our app. Typically, games are GPU-limited and we are using CPU so the impact should not be that big. Also, playing very demanding games like Crysis 3 requires [a] faster PC than playing let’s say Hearthstone. Another factor is what mobile device you are using: encoding HD video to [an] iPad is more demanding than playing with [a] 4-inch low-resolution screen Nokia 520. So it really depends on the game and mobile device, and that’s why we don’t want to set certain hardware requirements.”
So how much does this game streaming service cost? The server software is free to download and use, but the app for mobile devices features ads. To get rid of them, customers must shell out $4.99. The paid version will also have new features soon, such as improved functionality over internet, Gröhn told us.
For more information about KinoConsole, head here. The website provides links to the Windows Phone app and the server software, and a setup guide. You can watch the service in action in the video below.