Updated: Bethesda unveils cloud-based streaming tech Orion at E3 2019

Update 10/06 1pm: After a (short) night of sleep, we have a bit more details about Bethesda’s new “patented collection of software technologies” Orion. The streaming tech is being developed by Id Software’s engineering team and is “game- and platform-agnostic,” the press release stated, adding later on that it works with any streaming provider too.

It continued: “In contrast to game streaming services that focus on hardware solutions to stream games, Orion is game engine-based technology that optimises a game for the cloud. The Orion technology is complementary to the hardware technology in data centers built by other streaming providers, ensuring much better results when paired together.”

Orion also promises “high-speed performance with imperceptible latency” for players and an easy to integrate SDK for developers. On the steaming providers side, Bethesda says Orion will help them “reach larger audiences, at reduced costs, with a superior level of service.”

The release date of the public trials (see below) hasn’t been announced.

Original story (published during Bethesda’s E3 conference on 10/06, 3am): Between two dragons, Bethesda announced a new streaming service called Orion at E3 2019, which aims at “optimising game engines for performance in a cloud environment” and “address the complex challenges of streaming.”

While on stage during Bethesda’s E3 conference, Id Software CTO Robert Duffy and Bethesda director of publishing James Altman announced that Bethesda’s new cloud-based streaming solution could run 20 per cent faster with 40 per cent less bandwidth than other cloud services. It also promises better performances even with slow Internet speeds.

The pair demoed Orion’s capability by showing 2016’s Doom played on stage on a smartphone at 60fps. Players can try Orion by signing up for Doom’s official fan club, Slayers Club – and maybe win a chance to take part in Orion’s upcoming beta tech test.

Designed for developers to use with any game engine, Orion will be compatible with Google Stadia, Altman said during the conference: “This can be put into any game engine, it can be used with any streaming platform to provide a better experience for any consumer playing that game on that platform and to deliver it at a lower cost for whoever’s serving the data.” (thanks The Verge for the quote’s transcription!)

On Twitter, Bethesda has described Orion as “a patented collection of software technologies that will optimise game engines for superior performance in a streaming environment,” adding that “an Orion-enabled game will be faster, more fluid, and provide players with a fundamentally better streaming experience, regardless of the game or streaming platform.”

Read more of our stories and analysis from E3 2019 here.

About Marie Dealessandri

Marie Dealessandri is MCV’s former senior staff writer. After testing the waters of the film industry in France and being a radio host and reporter in Canada, she settled for the games industry in London in 2015. She can be found (very) occasionally tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate, Hollow Knight and the Dead Cells soundtrack.

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