A new system may allow gamers to stream graphics-intense titles to their mobile devices for a fraction of the bandwidth. Half of all mobile users play games on their devices, and until recently, those games were titles designed specifically for those devices. However, many gamers choose to stream more demanding titles, the kinds of games you would find on a console, to their mobile devices.

Currently, “cloud gaming” allows players to stream games from the cloud, where the servers do the heavy lifting of processing intense graphics to allow players to interact with the games seamlessly. Unfortunately, these games have steep graphics requirements, and that results in a lot of data usage. Playing one of the more recent Halo games, for example, might eat through a two gigabyte data plan in a couple of hours.

Researchers at Duke University recently announced a new system that allows for much less “expensive” streaming. Called Kahawai, which is Hawaiian for stream, the system still streams games from the cloud, but it shares the work with the device’s processor.

In traditional cloud gaming, the servers do all the heavy lifting, and with Kahawai they still do most of it. What the system does, however, is assign some tasks to the device. So it might do some basic structural rendering–not the complex rendering that can be the difference between life and death in a game, but the device can lay the groundwork. By doing this, Kahawai has managed to deliver the same graphical quality as traditional cloud gaming but at one-sixth the bandwidth.

In fact, the team had 50 “hardcore” gamers, defined as people who spend at least two hours a day playing video games, test the system out. They found that player performance was no different between Kahawai and other cloud systems. Implementing Kahawai means players can get more play time for their money, which is something that gamers generally go for.