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Old 05-18-12, 03:14 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Farnborough, UK
Posts: 335
Default Re: Thoughts from console owners on NVIDIA's GEFORCE GRID

I still don't see how they can eliminate the latency involved. A button press on your controller or keyboard still needs to be sent to game servers before it can be processed, while on a console or PC that same button press is registered immediately.

I tried OnLive a little while ago and the experience was not good - the game was always behind whatever I did on the keyboard. The streamed image was also nowhere near as sharp as an image generated on the local PC. It simply didn't work for me. I don't see how these issues can ever be resolved in a 'Cloud gaming' environment. Yes, the servers can be places 'close to major cities' which would improve the latency, but it would still be there. The ONLY way you could get a console-like experience using the cloud would be to reduce to zero the time it took to get user input to the server, and then zero time to compress and send the rendered images to the gamer.

This solution is also no good for gamers who have capped broadband (I'm lucky that mine isn't capped, but many are not so lucky).

So in answer to your question, I would say that it's not going to make consoles obsolete.

The following is my simplistic view of what happens on a console compared to what needs to happen in the cloud. When the user presses a button, what needs to happen before you see the result on your screen.

Console :

1. User presses 'Fire'.
2. Button registered by the game - very little delay.
3. Game processes button and updates game state.
4. Game renders next frame based on result of new game state.
5. Game displays completed frame to the user.

'Cloud' :

1. User presses 'Fire'.
1b. User input sent across the internet to the Cloud - this can take in excess of 30-40ms.
2. Button registered by the game.
3. Game processes button and updates game state.
4. Game renders next frame based on result of new game state.
4b. Server compresses frame and sends across the internet. Will be a 'significant' amount of data if quality is not to be compromised too much.
4c. Frame is decompressed locally.
5. Completed frame is displayed to the user.

In the above very simplistic view, 1b, 4b and 4c are all additional tasks that MUST happen in the order presented above. Yes, multiple frame can be prepared as in double or triple buffering, but this does not help in the case of user 'seeing' the result of his/her actions.
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