If you're a gamer, you've probably found yourself in a situation where you don't necessarily feel like turning on your console of choice or booting up Steam to play the latest and greatest AAA titles. I know I feel like this often and like always, I simply cannot find a casual game I can just sit back and play effortlessly. If you can relate to that feeling, then our problems may be solved. Meet AirConsole, a browser based gaming platform that uses your smartphone as the controller.
Now we've established that AirConsole is a browser based gaming platform, but what exactly does that mean? Let's dive right into that. AirConsole is a gaming service that runs entirely in your browser, with no downloads required at all. This means you will not have to download games, software, or drivers to start playing. The platform features a variety of small, free-to-play games, and it even boasts a NES emulator with a couple built-in games to get you up and going. You can also play other NES rom files that you may have downloaded onto your PC by simply dragging the rom file into your browser window.
As mentioned earlier, AirConsole uses your smartphone as the controller for all of these games. What's so great about this is that you don't even have to download a separate app to use the controller, simply visit the AirConsole website on your smartphone, enter the pin that was already provided to you on the browser instance of AirConsole and voila, you're up and running. You can also expand the experience and play with multiple people at the same time. One of the developers behind the service said this in a post on Reddit.
it doesn’t need a lot of hardware: An average laptop will do. You won’t be able to play the newest AAA games with it, but that’s also not really what we’re all about. AirConsole is to play a few quick games with friends while having a beer. Think Mario Party. Except it’s really annoying to carry an N64 with 8 controllers (or a big gaming PC with 8 gamepads) somewhere, while AirConsole just needs a laptop or TV with a couple of smartphones, and you’re all good to play with as many people as you like.
Now after giving the service a quick test myself, I was very impressed. One would imagine that latency issues might arise in something like this, where you're running a connection between two different devices for a gaming manner like this but surprisingly, my experience went well. I didn't experience any lag at all using my Nexus 5 smartphone as a controller, but it is worth noting that everyone's mileage will vary, depending on their hardware and connection strength. The developers have also said that the experience is better when using an Android phone compared to an iPhone. I must admit though, the game library is very underwhelming at this point but not to fret, as the developers are constantly trying to bring more games over to the platform. They have even said that any browser based game or Unity3D game can be ported over, leaving the possibilities for this project extremely open.
What do you think? Is this something you are excited for? Will you be investing a lot of your time into this? Leave your thoughts below! Also if you would like to try the service, feel free to follow this link. The setup process is fairly self explanatory.