How is Rainway at the end of 2018?

It’s been almost a year since Rainway started their open beta in January of 2018. Things were rocky in the beginning, but have steadily improved. They plan to exit beta in January of 2019. That’s right around the corner. So how is Rainway today?

Things are Improving Quickly

When Rainway first launched, things were a bit of a mess. Streaming worked, but there was high latency and ugly video compression. With that said, it’s understandable because Rainway is a true beta product. It’s not one of those we’re-calling-it-a-beta-but-its-really-a-demo tests.

Throughout 2018 Rainway has squashed numerous bugs and refined their Streaming Software. They added support for both Google Chrome and Firefox. Today things look a lot different than they did in the beginning.

Improved Mouse Capture

Many of you have used Rainway from the very beginning, and you’ll know what I mean when I say that the Mouse has been an issue. Rainway initially used a capture mode that felt like you were moving a fake mouse inside of a window. And they required you to toggle various mouse modes depending on what you were doing. In a recent update, Rainway put all of that behind them.

They are now using Predictive Input Rendering to make the mouse extremely accurate. Rainway predicts where the mouse will go and then renders it ahead of time to make the actual moment perfect.

Improved Display Detection

If you’ve been following our Rainway videos on YouTube, you may have noticed that there are black bars above and below the image in most of them. That’s because Rainway was rendering the streaming video at 1906×1006 instead of 1920×1080. This problem was fixed in Rainway’s latest update. Now the streaming video is rendered at the correct resolution, and it looks great.

No more bars in Rainway!

Improved Compression

In the past, you may have noticed compression when using Rainway. Compression can make the video look blurry or blocky. You’ll still notice some compression when using lower quality settings, but the High and Very High settings are almost picture perfect. They are greatly improved over what they looked like before.

Still a few Opportunities

While Rainway has improved dramatically since January, they still have a few opportunities to address before launch. When we were testing them recently, we encountered a bit of input latency and some stream stuttering.

I had an opportunity to talk about this with Rainway’s Andrew Sampson. He explained that right now Rainway is using a constant bitrate to handle the stream. This means that the stream is rendered at an exact data rate. If your connection or the server’s connection fluctuate, then you’ll notice a temporary stutter.

Rainway plans to address this problem in a future update. Their goal is to use an adaptive bitrate that can adjust quality on the fly as things in the network fluctuate. This should result in much smoother streaming.

Launching Soon!

Rainway is officially exiting beta on January 31st 2019 (almost exactly a year after the beta started).

Now keep in mind that they are talking about launching for computers as a first step. In the near future they also plan to launch on Android and Xbox One. 2019 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Game Streaming and Cloud Gaming. Keep an eye on Flickstiq! You can bet that we will be among the first to officially review Rainway when they launch.

If you’re interested in seeing the latest improvements in action, take a look at the video below.


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