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Google’s Plan to Overcome Stadia Latency Issues

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by , 10-12-2019 at 03:08 PM (118 Views)
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One of the problems facing Google Stadia — beyond Google’s habit of slaughtering every project that doesn’t become an instant, industry-dominating hit — is that there’s an intrinsic latency baked-in to using it. There’s simply no way to send data over hundreds to thousands of miles and not have intrinsic latency attached. This may not be a problem if you live near a Google Stadia datacenter, but it’ll definitely impact the experience to some degree for everyone who doesn’t.
According to Google, it has a plan to beat this problem, an approach that will allow it to actually make games faster remotely than they can be locally. “Ultimately, we think in a year or two we’ll have games that are running faster and feel more responsive in the cloud than they do locally,” Google VP of engineering Madj Bakar told Edge Magazine, via PCGamesN, “regardless of how powerful the local machine is.”

How will they achieve this? By using extensive machine prediction to model what players are going to do, and then doing it for them, before they actually start doing it. This “negative latency” will be governed using machine prediction. In some cases, the game might accelerate displayed FPS to reduce lag between button inputs and displayed outcomes. In others, it may predict button-presses before the player actually commits to them.

It’s not clear if this technology is functional yet. Tests of Google Stadia have often identified latency as an issue, including this report from PC Gamer from back in March. But while this may help make Stadia successful, there are serious questions about whether this approach is suitable for every type of game.


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