You’ll soon be able to play PC games on console (and in bed!) with the Rainway app

3 min read
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Switch-rainway

PC gaming may have better hardware, sales cheaper than yer mum and a wider selection of games that work irrespective of the year that they were developed, but consoles gamers have a different ace up their sleeves: The option to play games in bed. Now granted, you could take a laptop with you into your sanctum sanctorum, but chances are that your battery will be dead within half an hour and it’ll be next to impossible to find a decent surface for your mouse before the cat attacks.

If only there was a way to play PC games…on a console. If only.

Wait, there actually is. To think that I was going to end the article right there. An app is on the way, and it goes by the name of Rainway. It’s goal is simple enough: Take what you’ve got on PC and stream it across to your console or other devices. “Rainway’s signature feature is that it’s available on any device with a web browser,” Rainway developer Andrew Sampson says on the site.

You’ll simply visit play.rainway.io, log in, and kick back with your favorite games. Native apps for Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and other platforms are being developed to provide an even more seamless experience.

That sounds like black magic, so pardon me while I see if the app weighs the same as a duck. While streaming PC games to other devices certainly works (we’ve seen it run quite well on Nvidia’s Shield, as an example), to have something that just…works? Sounds like a dream. The same could be said for Nintendo and Microsoft allowing this app on their digital storeronts.

According to Sampson, just about any PC bought recently will fit the bill, with no extra hardware needed. “The best part is that practically any modern PC is compatible,” Sampson explained.

You don’t need to purchase any additional computer hardware and did we mention that it’s free? That’s right, no more 50 dollar boxes or subscription fees, the Rainway experience will be available free of charge for life.

A beta kicks off for Rainway on May 5, just in time for when Autumn slaps me upside the head with a taste of winter and sends me scurrying into my bed-hovel. The caveat here being how PC games feel when you ditch the mouse and keyboard for a more traditional controller, of course. At least the Nintendo Switch library is finally about to grow.

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Last Updated: April 25, 2017

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Darryn Bonthuys

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  • Magoo

    If you could test this out for us on May 5, that’d be great!

    • Should this actually come out (which I have doubts about), we’ll test this for sure.

      • miaau

        Technically, streaming the video feed, I see no real issue, to a page. Difficult, but doable.

        Control schemes and passing input to the host PC……. now that is something I would like to see.

        I also have doubts….. Please keep on eye on this one for us lazy bastards that will not but may be interested to see what happens

        • Magoo

          My only concerns are quality and latency. I mean I think console guys can live with a 20+ms input latency at 30fps but I would much rather go through the hassles of hooking my PC up to my tv and plugging in a controller.

          • Lu

            I streamed Fallout and Skyrim through my windows tab and steam, with my 360 controller plugged into my tab. As long as the network signal is good its pretty much lag free. Wouldn’t risk multiplayer games through it though unless they’re turn based.

  • Original Heretic

    If this works, awesome.

    Now all I need is a PC that can run cool games.
    Oh, and my wife agreeing to let me jam in bed.

    ……………

    Crap, neither of those is going to happen anytime soon.
    WOE IS ME!

    • miaau

      Jam in bed is not an end goal I aspire to. In fact, having a TV in the bedroom is not exactly my thing, BUT with the kids it is nice some mornings to just watch something lazily and not get about of bed.

      Maybe I can help:

      1. Does your wife Facebook, instachat, whatsapp in bed? Or any sort of smartphone activity? If so, why can you not jam in bed?
      2. Do you jam in bed with wireless headphones or WITH sounds on mute?
      3. Does your son, who you seem to have named little legend ( 🙂 ), want to jam with you in bed? Hmm, that may be a negative and could lead to excitement in him when he should be thinking of sleep, but that is just a guess
      4. Does your wife sleep soundly while you read in bed? If so, what is the real difference if you play games, with aforementioned noiselessness, and read with the light on? TV will not flicker, cause light is on.
      5. Getting a new PC…. Yeah.

      6. What games would you want to jam in bed?

      • Original Heretic

        I used to jam in bed ALL the time when I lived alone. Loved it!

        1. Nope
        2. Nope
        3. He’s not yet old enough to play games, but he does crawl into our bed for morning movies. Saturday morning gaming? I can see that being a thing for him as he’s older.
        4. Nope, she’s always restless and want the TV in the background (softly) while she falls asleep.
        5. An issue, yeah.
        6. Forza Horizon 3 comes to mind. Basically, the games released only on PC and XB1 that I could also jam with my PS4.

        • miaau

          I used to read in bed till I fell asleep. BUT have not done that since I got married and I have been married for 10 years, 1 month and 2 days.

          On point 1, my wife facebooks everywhere, she is on various parenting groups.

          AND point 6, yeah, but Forza Horizon 3 works on Xbox One. I will buy it later.

          I know you have a PS4 though, so I do see the attraction. And adriving game with simplified controls (not Codemasters F1 with assists off then) can work nicely, I think,

          And point 3 worries me, about me own family. I want play to be in the TV room, or outside, sometimes in room for private play. But something like a Xbox in the childs room? I am very much unsure about that. Letting her play in front, whenever she wants, sure.

          • Original Heretic

            I had FH 1 and 2 on my XB360. Fell in love with those games. So yeah, the appeal for FH3 is strong with me.
            As for the gaming in his room? Nah, my boy ain’t going to be doing that. He has a play room with a TV and DVD player set up, so that’s where his first console is going to be. And I’ll keep TIGHT reign on the games he plays.

          • miaau

            Yeah, do that. We do not have a playroom as yet, but maybe I lose a study…..

            Anyway. My sister, used to teach at a local, but in a well-off area, Primary school. So, the boys and some girls excitedly explain to her that Fallout New Vegas is coming and they have already pre-ordered it. Now that is a huge problem, as with Skyrim and Witcher games. Not the monsters or the visuals.

            Nah, it is the moral quests that get me and I think some of the age restriction to 18 for those games is because of the moral quests. Like taking kids out of a bad environment and then putting, effectively, child sex groomers and pimps in charge of them, cause you did not know that then. Or the cannibalism thing.

            That sort of thing needs to watched carefully, in my, in this case, not humble at all opinion. A 10 year old or even a 14 year old is still in trying to figure the world out, their place in it and so forth and then these games provide a large level of immersion and these moral dilemmas. Can be a learning, growing experience, but….. I will watch that one too.

          • Original Heretic

            That’s where I feel that we, as gamer parents, have an advantage over non-gamer parents.
            Just about all kids will, at some stage, start jamming games.
            For us, having played these games, we know the inherent dangers that these could cause to a developing mind. There’s a reason these games have age restrictions, the same way movies have them.
            The way some parents keep their kids from watching an R rated movie, but then allow them to play an R rated game? Doesn’t make any sense at all.
            So before I let my lad play a game that is in that “should he, shouldn’t he” category, I’ll play it first.
            But I seriously cannot wait for the time when I get to jam games WITH him!

          • miaau

            “But I seriously cannot wait for the time when I get to jam games WITH” her!.

            Yeah, me too. BUT, we play Civilisation Revolution, Xbox 360 scaled down Civ game, together. She seems to enojy the cartoony graphics and point out the fish, whales, and stuff. My wife says I need to show her how to move units around or something, but she just wants to watch and comment. She is only 3.5 years old…..

          • Original Heretic

            Heh, yeah, my lad has just started getting interested in games.
            I generally only jam at night, while he sleeps, or while my wife is trying to get him to sleep.
            He was resisting one night (this past Saturday, actually) so she brought him upstairs to me, where I was jamming.
            I was playing Alienation, super cool like Diablo-type game. No hectic looking monsters and all that.
            MAAAAAN, was he fascinated! He was checking out the controller, checking out the screen, shouting out “Oh no!” every time I paused the game to access my inventory, marvelling at the sounds coming out the controller when the weapon was reloaded, everything.
            I am creating a gamer.
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/651e261279dc13c571547fd0482a9d1b9d802e564f3c7fa98db96e191b43a961.jpg

  • Skyblue

    Nintendo could do worse than finance this project. MS and Sony’s hand would be forced if they did considering they’re “listening to their customers” now.

  • miaau

    Um. Why would I want to?

    I want to play Civ 6, PC game, right? I need a mouse and keyboard and lots of interaction with both, in a seamless symphony and mouse movements and short-cut keys (ok, not really).

    • Gardos

      But what if you want to play shooty shooty pew pew? Or kicky kicky run run? Or even jumpy jumpy catch catch? Those should all transfer pretty well to the console experience.

      PS. I don’t even know what I’m saying

      • miaau

        Well, I play those, the few that I do, on console.

        But your point is well seen. I think.

        I have no idea what I am saying either.

        • Gardos

          We have thus found common ground in our confusion. I salute you!

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