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Google working on 'negative latency' for Stadia cloud-gaming platform

Written by James Delahunty @ 11 Oct 2019 2:19

Google working on 'negative latency' for Stadia cloud-gaming platform

Questions about latency arose as soon as Google announced its cloud gaming service Stadia, but Google is apparently aiming for 'negative latency' with the service.
Latency concerns are entirely understandable. It is one thing when the input from controllers travels over a wire to a PC or console, or short range wireless connection. It is an entirely different thing when the input from the controller or other devices has to travel across the Internet, and the result has to be streamed back to you. Latency seems almost inevitable.

Significant latency and lag could seriously hurt Google's platform when it launches in November. However, the company has been working on it and Majd Bakar, VP of Engineering at Stadia, has even invoked 'negative latency'.

This is a peculiar term since it conjures up thoughts of an input command being received and the result being streamed back to you before you even sent the input. However, it is likely a term that hints at how things work at the back-end. There are suggestions that what Bakar means is that the Google system will predict input controls and constantly render frames ahead of time, and then quickly determine which predictions were correct and send the appropriate frames.

Such a system sounds impressively complicated but if it worked, it could mean that the user would essentially experience no noticeable latency at all. It would be like playing a locally installed game. We really look forward to seeing that manifest.

In other Stadia-related news, it has been confirmed that all launch titles will be available to stream in 4K at 60fps.

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