Orion is supposed to complement, not compete with, these kinds of services. “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,” promises Bethesda director of publishing James Altman. Essentially, it works by delegating some processing tasks to the game engine locally, rather than performing them as they’re transmitted to the player over the internet.
Bethesda says that turning on just one of several Orion features cuts the bandwidth that’s required for a high-quality streaming experience by 40 percent. It also supposedly reduces the time it takes to encode a frame of video (which is then streamed to the player) by 30 percent and trims the compute work that’s required by 20 percent. The company didn’t say how much turning on all Orion features would improve a stream, although Altman says that various kinds of games will benefit more from different features.
Theoretically, Orion mitigates some of the biggest problems facing cloud gaming. It could lower the minimum internet speed for a platform like Stadia, which currently suggests a 25Mbps connection for 1080p gaming. (It has a minimum bandwidth requirement of 10Mbps and a recommended maximum of 35 Mbps for 4K gaming.)