Most of us have decent PCs to go with a console like PS4. You don’t know when a good PC exclusive comes out and you aren’t able to try it. Moreover, a good PC also enables you to stream games efficiently. But, a lot of us have mediocre PCs, but a powerful console like PS4. And, Linux on PS4 has come as a boon enabling us to play many Windows games on PS4. Since we have many Windows games running on PS4 Linux, the next question we ask is, “can Windows games be streamed on PS4 Linux with OBS?”
Well, I myself was curious as to whether PS4 Linux distros can handle gaming and recording with OBS studio together. And, the recently released Nobara OS for PS4 intrigued me more, as it has OBS Studio by default. So, I had to try. And, in this article, you will learn about my findings along with a short “way forward.” Please read the whole article.
Can PS4 Linux stream Windows games with OBS Studio?
Well, I started out small. I tried recording the Linux desktop and running a few terminal commands with OBS Studio and Nobara. As soon as you start OBS Studio on Nobara, it will benchmark your system and suggest the best settings.
On a PS4 Slim running Nobara, OBS suggested a base resolution of 1920×1080 and an output resolution of 1280×720. In essence, while what you see on the OBS window would be 1080p, but, the final output file will have a resolution of 1280×720 (720p). If you are someone who is looking forward to do some heavy streaming, this might not be actually attractive, as you would be making a compromise downscaling to 720p.
But, for now, I found this to be a good setting. And, before we move further, please understand that I tried recording per se, not streaming on OBS for PS4 Linux. The results though should be more or less the same.
Given those constraints, we have to ask this question:-
How good is PS4 Linux for game streaming with OBS?
In the present condition, frankly, there is not a lot to desire for.
Oh, and here are the settings I used to record Max Payne 3 gameplay on PS4 Linux (Nobara) with OBS.
OBS on PS4 Linux: Setting used
- Base (Canvas) Resolution: 1920×1080
- Output (Scaled) Resolution: 1280×720
- Downscale Filter: Lanczos
- Common FPS: 30
- Rate Control: CBR
- Bitrate: 4500 Kbps
- CPU Usage Preset: veryfast
OBS on PS4 Linux: Max Payne 3 Gameplay Recording
Without any further ado, here is the video showing you Max Payne 3 gameplay recorded on PS4 Linux with OBS.
As you can see, the game is playable and the video recorded is alright! Running the game in Windowed mode also adds a slight benefit when it comes to the FPS and even recording quality. But, before making final assumptions, let us quickly go back to the Nobara showcase video where I have shown you the performance of Max Payne 3 on fullscreen 1080p. Just to quickly refresh your memory, here is the relevant section from that video.
As seen here, the distro is able to manage 40-60 FPS in the game when run on fullscreen at 1080p. But, when you run OBS along with it, you see the performance drop. In terms of FPS, it’s almost half of what you see if OBS weren’t recording in the background. That being said, hey, atleast you can use it as a beginner system to stream your games, especially the less demanding ones.
Improve performance for OBS game streaming on PS4 Linux
Now, I have shown you the performance of PS4 Linux as a streaming system, with my custom settings. This doesn’t mean you have to stick to those settings. Play around, tinker with it, and maybe you will find the perfect settings for your game. But, keep reading for some findings that I found during the testing.
For one, increasing the bitrate to 6000 Kbps resulted in a CPU overload. In such a case, OBS will mostly keep recording instead of crashing. But, the final video will stutter a lot, making the attempt useless. Similar is the case with increasing the output resolution to 1080p or going for a higher CPU usage preset. This is understandable, as this puts more load on the CPU.
To kickstart your tinkering in the journey to find the best settings for game streaming on PS4 Linux, here are a few things you could try.
- Increase and decrease resolution (both base and output)
- Change common FPS
- Play with CBR (Bitrate)
- Overclock PS4 APU (Yes, this is possible with a custom kernel, but I strongly recommend AGAINST it without a proper cooling solution in place)
- Use more swap. Learn how you can setup a persistent swap on PS4 Linux.
- Use a more lightweight software than OBS.
If all else fails, your best option would be to get a cheap video capture card.
More steps and if necessary, detailed tutorials will be added later on. Keep an eye out.
I believe that with a lot of tinkering, PS4 Linux could become a great system for game streaming. So, I request you guys to try playing around and post your findings in the comments below.
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