HP today announced OMEN Game Stream, a remote game streaming service based on Parsec's low latency streaming technology. Similar to services and technologies such as Steam In-Home Streaming and NVIDIA GameStream, OMEN Game Stream lets users render demanding PC games on their home HP OMEN PC while streaming and playing the games on a lower-end device, either from across the house or across the world.
With OMEN Game Stream, users can play their high end PC games from the living room couch while the gaming PC in the office does the heavy lifting, or play from their low-end work laptop while on a business trip. In addition to the benefit of having games rendered on your presumably higher end gaming PC, the fact that all game rendering and data stays confined to a single machine means that users can pick up and play from anywhere right where they left off without needing to rely on cloud-based save files or configurations.
All remote streaming services offer this convenience and flexibility in exchange for increased latency, but the Parsec propriety streaming technology used by HP claims to offer superior performance to its competitors. We here at PC Perspective tested Parsec's service late last year and, while not perfect, it offered latency and responsiveness that was as good or better than the offerings from Steam or NVIDIA. Competitive gamers in the FPS or fighting categories may still be unsatisfied, but for the majority of gamers (and game genres), Parsec's streaming technology offers a perfectly acceptable experience if you have sufficient bandwidth on both ends of the equation.
And speaking of bandwidth, HP is advising that users need a minimum of 25Mbps for 1080p60 gameplay and a minimum of 10Mbps for 720p60. It's also advised to use wired network connections on both ends, or 5GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi if a wired option is unavailable. And remember, like all remote game streaming services, these minimum specs for network speed and quality must be met both at home with your HP OMEN gaming PC and on the road at wherever you're planning to stream.
Thankfully, to help users troubleshoot connectivity and performance issues, HP also offers a Streaming Performance Test feature in the OMEN Game Stream application. This should give users a guide as to whether their current network connections will offer acceptable performance before starting that marathon RPG session.
OMEN Game Stream will be a free service preinstalled on new OMEN gaming PCs starting this spring, and there will be no charge to users for streaming from their own OMEN PC.