Home / Technology / Google suggests that Stadia will somehow achieve "negative latency", perhaps via predictable button input

Google suggests that Stadia will somehow achieve "negative latency", perhaps via predictable button input

Photo : Justin Sullivan ( Getty Images )

Google certainly has some bold plans for its Stadia game streaming service: "negative latency."

Google & # 39; s Vice President of Technology Madj Bakar told Edge magazine in a recent interview that the company believes that streaming games can respond faster than a game if run directly on a PC or console, per PCGamesN . Two ways to beat possible delays between players and Stadia servers are mentioned: rapidly increasing FPS to reduce the latency between when a player makes an action and when it is displayed on the screen, and a predictive model that predicts the player's efforts and processes them in

"In the end, we believe that in a year or two we will have games that run faster and feel more responsive in the cloud than they do locally, no matter how powerful the local machine is," Bakar told Edge, adding that Google characterizes this as "negative latency."

There is obviously no such thing as "negative latency", which seems more like a marketing jargon than anything. As PC Gamer noted a game developer on Twitter suspected that the function of predicting button pressing is not some kind of promise that Stadia comes with target assistant or push buttons for players – it would kind of ruin the experience – but instead is just brand talk for branch prediction. It is a well-known performance trick in programming that relies on guesses, but can risk significant desyncing or rubber banding in fast games. Predictive modeling can be used to generate frames in the cloud in advance and then only show it to the player that matches the action they are actually taking, but with the proviso that it takes much more bandwidth . (In a very loose sense, Stadia would really reproduce game microseconds in advance for the player, not that this is actually new to the game .]

Note that one of these is actually "negative latency" , which is impossible from the player's perspective due to causality .

In any case, while there is a great interest in Stadia, the service has also been skeptical that it will actually run anywhere near that PC Gamer reported significant latency issues at demos in March 2019, with its reporter writing that he died five times in the first level of Doom . (This is not a very difficult level.) Our sister site Kotaku is skeptical that Google can work out the technical issues involved in the short term as well as whether its business model will involve the exchange of gaming ownership with gaming t "access." Then there's the whole question of things that are mods and whether players really want to play single-game titles over the internet; always on DRM, for example has long been repealed and there are lots of people across the country with the shitty internet .

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