Playing PC games on your Smart Phone

Okay, so you are probably wondering how in the world do you play a PC game on your android device (without emulators)? Well I have an idea, and I thought my fellow gaming enthusiast may like the idea. Although it is all theoretical at the moment, as I have yet to test it.

I was thinking the other day that it would be so awesome if I could play a PC game on my android phone without being in front of my computer; because let’s face it, as much as we enjoy gaming, and game development we can’t always take our desktops with us. You can’t even always take your laptop with you. Your smart phone however…now you got something that is portable and fits in your pocket.

Well I thought of possibly buying a Bluetooth enabled game pad for input to my Android device so I don’t to have to bother with touch screen input. They also have USB adapters for the android device where you can plug in Xbox remotes as well. But wireless is better in my opinion. As far as the viewing experience goes, you can buy one of those headsets they use for VR games for your phone, so you have a nice enclosed view, and free hands to hold the gamepad.

With a controller for input, I can remote into my Windows PC, launch Steam and play my PC games from my Android device. That means I can play my PC games anywhere there is a sufficient data connection. By sufficient data connection I mean either a decent Wi-Fi connection or possibly a good LTE connection. A good LTE connection is fast enough to stream 1080p HD movies, so it might be fast enough to stream up to 60 FPS to your smart phone which should be fast enough to avoid artifacts or pixilated graphics on your phone.

There is also lag to consider. The time it takes for input from your controller through your android device to get to the game on the PC, and then reflect that input back on your Android device. I think with a decent Wi-Fi connection these connectivity and latency issues would not be an issue. However I am not sure about LTE.

Now for the more technical aspects****

• Windows Remote Desktop uses a protocol called RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) as it’s native remoting application.

• RDP was fast enough to support browsing files on your PC from a remote location. However, if you tried watching a movie using RDP it wouldn’t work that well. The movie would play but it wouldn’t come in cohesively because the protocol couldn’t draw enough frames and send them to the client fast enough to keep up with the movie.

• The reason for that was because It was drawing frames (bitmaps) and sending them over to the client as raw data (uncompressed data).

Most streaming services compress the frames before sending them to the client. I am not sure how RDP has changed since Windows 7 so I am assuming that Windows Remote Desktop is still not a sufficient solution for streaming movies or real time games across a remote network connection.

Can Teamviewer produce frames fast enough to keep up with game play? I have not used it before. Even if it did though, I’m not sure if it would support input from a gamepad through Android (or Iphones) or even allow you to open a PC game. Any confirmation on that?

However, there are some 3rd party apps that boast speeds of 60 FPS without compromising image quality or large amounts of bandwidth. So they may be worth a try. Otherwise this would be a fun application to try and build.

***Also I know Nvidia developed a tablet that can play games on your PC from a remote location already. However, I think it would be much cooler if you could do that on your smart phone. I can’t take a tablet everywhere I go, but I can take my phone! I’d love to be able to play some MGS 5 on my phone during my lunch break!