Speed is everything for gamers, so Linksys is hoping to up the game when it comes to wireless speeds. It's unveiling a new router today, under the bewildering name "WRT32X," that builds in Killer networking — a brand of wireless tech often found in high-end gaming machines that's meant to prioritize internet traffic to the things a gamer cares about most: first and foremost, their games.
Until now, Killer-branded networking tech — made by a company called Rivet Networks — has been found in PCs, but not routers. That's meant gamers could prioritize their own internet traffic, but not the traffic of anyone else on their network.
Linksys' WRT32X is the first router with Killer networking built in, and it basically makes game data become the router's number one priority. That's followed by voice calls (for talking with teammates during games), and video (for livestreamers). Typical web traffic follows, and large downloads — *ahem* pirated movies on BitTorrent — are placed last.
Gamers are clearly willing to spend money on any equipment that'll give them an edge, and Linksys' intent here is for the WRT32X to become an obvious buy for those using a router.
Whether it'll actually have an impact on gaming performance very much remains to be seen, however. In a look at Killer networking tech back in 2015, PC Gamer found that motherboards with it "aren't worth your money" and showed "no dramatic differences" in benchmarks or actual results while gaming.
Perhaps the story will be different when Killer's tech is at the network level, but it'll have to make up for hardware discrepancies too. The WRT32X is basically just a permutation on Linksys' existing WRT routers, none of which made PC Gamer’s list of best gaming routers last month. Maybe next year.