Update, 1/31/2020: Due to “unexpected circumstances,” Rainway has been removed from the Microsoft Store for the time being.
Seattle-based startup Rainway made a surprise announcement Tuesday, rolling out its game streaming platform as a public beta for the Xbox One.
Rainway’s platform, also called Rainway, allows users to stream games from their home PCs to any compatible device, as long as that device has an internet connection and can run video at 60 frames per second.
In essence, then, the Rainway application brings your PC games library to your living room via the Xbox One. You install an application on your Xbox via the Microsoft Store, then open Rainway’s dashboard on the Windows 10 PC that you intend to stream your games from. Rainway does the rest from there. Within seconds, you can be playing your PC games on your Xbox from your couch.
At least, that’s the theory. If you tried to use Rainway on your Xbox on Tuesday, you probably didn’t have a lot of luck with it, as an unexpectedly enthusiastic audience has been doing its best to crash Rainway’s servers.
“The sudden influx of users really gave us some warnings from our infrastructure,” Andrew Sampson, CEO of Rainway, told GeekWire over the phone. “We’re currently addressing those issues as fast as we can, as well as spinning up new servers to handle the load. We put on 30,000 new users in the first day. With this sudden influx on a brand-new app, of course there’s going to be bugs, but our goal here is to get as much fixed as quickly as possible for people.”
That brings the total number of users on Rainway, across all its available platforms, up to around 300,000.
Thank you everyone for supporting us (and for crashing our API!) https://t.co/RQfDNUubXH
— Andrew Sampson (@Andrewmd5) January 29, 2020
“Here we are in 2020,” Sampson said, “and we’ve finally figured out that this is about being everywhere that people’s content is, and allowing them to use their screens to play. Now we have all these data applications, we’ve improved our performance, and we’ve made it even easier to play. The community loves us for that.”
Rainway is primarily intended as a method of making your games more accessible and portable. Sampson doesn’t regard current cloud gaming initiatives, such as Google Stadia, as competition for Rainway.
“We were never worried about it,” he said. “Cloud gaming is an entirely different market to what we’re trying to serve. [Microsoft’s] Project xCloud and Stadia are interesting plays, but we’re serving PC gamers, and they have different needs.”
The Xbox One debut of Rainway is apparently just the start of what’s planned to be a big year for the company. “It’s going to be a really packed quarter for us in terms of releases,” Sampson said.
Rainway opened its doors in early 2018 in Atlanta, and moved its operations after participating in the Techstars Seattle startup accelerator. It received an initial round of startup funding that August, and recently raised another $3.5 million from investors. Since its initial debut, Rainway has released additional versions of its software for iOS and Android.