GOOGLE IS BIGGING UP its Stadia game streaming service, which it reckons will be "faster and more responsive" that local hardware, reported Edge.
That's quite a claim given the previously rocky performance of game streaming services. But Stadia's vice president of engineering Madj Bakar told games magazine Edge that this would be the case for Stadia in the near future.
"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," said Bakar, "regardless of how powerful the local machine is."
A lot can change in a year, so we can see why Bakar's crystal ball gazing would yield such a comment. But when Stadia launches this year, we won't be expecting it to run games as well as a local powerhouse PC.
Over time, however, Bakar said Google will use its tech nous to improve Stadia's performance. Notably, it will use a technique it's calling "negative latency", whereby to avoid latency that can be inherent in online gaming and streaming, Google will use large stream buffers to boost frame rates on the server-side of Stadia, as well as use algorithms to predict what buttons a player will press next, to reduce latency.
Google probably knows what you did last summer, so predicting what you might do next when playing a game could be well within its machine learning tech abilities.
As for power and performance, Google has its vast cloud infrastructure to tap into, and there's a heck of a lot more compute power in a data centre than on even the most powerful gaming rig.
With this in mind, Bakar's claims might seem ambitious but there's certainly a lot of credence behind them, especially as Google is no stranger to streaming services.
While the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Project Scarlett are slated for a late 2020 release, game streaming services, especially with the likes of Microsoft's Project xCloud are set to be the new battlegrounds for the future of gaming. µ
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