LOS ANGELES—Bethesda Softworks announced Sunday that it is getting involved in the increasingly competitive field of cloud gaming. But rather than announcing a service to compete with the likes of Google Stadia or Microsoft's Project Xcloud, Bethesda's Orion system is focused on improving streaming performance on the platforms that already exist.
While most cloud gaming efforts try to improve performance by throwing hardware at the problem—often in the form of prime data center locations loaded with high-end servers—Bethesda says Orion is instead incorporated "at the game engine level." The result of what Bethesda calls "years of research and development," the company says its group of patented Orion technologies can optimize frame rendering time by approximately 20 percent per frame. Improved compression also leads to streams that require 40 percent lower bandwidth for the same quality, reducing the potential costs for both users and streaming services, Bethesda said.