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Google Stadia: I'm incredulous when it comes to low latency

Google Stadia holds the promise: AAA games on almost any device with a video and Internet connection does not require a high-performance console or PC. Cloud gaming platforms tend to set expectations extremely high, but their Achilles heel is latency, the delay between pressing a button and the streaming game responding with an action. I have always had more than healthy skepticism about cloud games that do not believe that I could ever get as much feedback from the cloud as a local system. But after trying out Stadia shortly after its big revelation at the Game Developers Conference in 2019, I'm amazed how felt normal playing games that poured across the cloud.

If You're Looking For Exact technical data and measurements down to the millisecond as Stadia handles latency, people at Digital Foundry did extensive testing. I like to think that I can make similar assessments in a rather hippy dippy way, just by feeling . If my character needs only a fraction of a second to react when I make a move, the slight separation of action and reaction can ruin my experience. It's the same feeling as if you find that the sound of a movie does not match perfectly with the movements of the actors' lips, which can quickly drive you crazy. I sauntered to a stadia demo station and figured I would feel a desynchronization immediately ready to unravel Google's ambitions. Boy, I was wrong.

Playing means believing

Simply put, I never thought that I Assassin's Creed Odyssey and 201

6 Doom by Doom played cloud, if I did not already know it. Since I had not participated in the Project Stream beta test with Odyssey, I thought the game would look a bit downgraded or deceive the precision of my input – but both made it easy. I'm not a texture savant and I can not immediately tell you the resolution of a game by just looking at the screen, but everything looked great and went smoothly. Unfortunately, I did not have the option to use the current Stadia controller. Instead, I fired arrows and engaged in close combat with a wired controller (one of those extremely cheap but perfectly functioning Logitech gamepads).

No matter what I did, I did not seem to fool or stumble upon the current, even as she spins wildly in a circle or zigzags around cliffs. The fight felt completely natural, with no apparent difference at the time of evasive maneuvers and parades, and even the menus had no trouble coping with my over-zealous swinging between the panels. Okay, so Assassin's Creed Odyssey had passed a quick test – but Doom's first-person frenetic bloodbath would be as he streamed out of the cloud.

No. I played on a wired mouse and a keyboard and was shocked once again how buttery everything looked and felt. The highly violent Glory Kill animations, while tearing demon skulls to pieces and crushing the hell brood with their fists, never missed a shot between the shotguns. This Stadia demo included the ability to emulate various levels of stream connectivity, including "Excellent", "Degradable" and "Heavy". I played with an excellent connection, but even if I looked over the shoulder of the people playing under strict conditions, they seemed completely unimpressed.

Inescapable Latency

Granted, I only played each game for a few minutes, and these terms do not reflect the final product. The use of wired control methods seemed to offer a significant advantage over the Wi-Fi connected Stadia controller. These demos took place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, where numerous locations with powerful servers are easily accessible.

After joining me, I kept thinking of the idea of ​​the "imperceptible latency" that surfaced during a Google-hosted panel earlier in the day titled " Gaming in the Cloud: A Deep Technical Dive . "During the lecture, Guru Somadder, technical manager of Stadia, talked about latency as something that can not be completely eliminated. "Latency exists with every action and every data transfer pipeline," said Somadder. "For example, if your HDMI transmission is between 16 and 33 ms, your gaming monitor will run at a refresh rate of 4 ms at best, and even your USB ports for typical peripherals will be around 8 ms." These latency limitations are also part of our physiology: the human brain needs 30 ms and more to process visual stimuli, and it takes at least 70 to 180 ms for the commands of your brain to reach your fingers. "Mitigating the effects of latency is the key," added Somadder. "Our goal is to make it imperceptible to players."

I still think that Goias Stadia and cloud gaming in general will have some limitations. For example, I can not imagine that it is becoming increasingly difficult to fight games that fly in service; High-level players are extremely sensitive to imperfect latencies, as some attack animations take only a frame or two. In order to break off a moving target in a multiplayer shooter, [19459005-Bit] more precision is required than running on a fireball-throwing goblin and shooting it up close.

But once you've experienced stadia's smoothness yourself, it's difficult to argue with the results. I do not intend to buy cloud games in the near future, as I do not think I can ever leave my games as part of a physical object near it, be it a hard disk, a tape, or a disc Idea like playing blockbuster games without the need for an expensive console or PC – not to mention the many extra features like the common status – the future enabled by Stadia actually looks very bright.

Here are the 5 biggest questions Google Stadia still has to answer .

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