Game Streaming Platforms and Technology (PSNow, Stadia, xCloud)

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by lefantome, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. Xbat

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    They aren't in a bubble though? In my opinion Microsoft is in a much better position to deliver on cloud gaming.

    They have much more experience in game development they have a larger reach and better infrastructure in my opinion.

    Moving forward I think content is king in fact I'm positive. It's the reason Microsoft is buying up studios. If Google is going to take Stadia seriously they going to have buy some studios or invest in there own and until then it feels like a side project to me.
     
  2. iroboto

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    This was the counterpoint I was expecting when you were answering back to Shifty lol.
     
  3. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    Both companies have cloud and server infrastructure, one company's whole business is predicated on these technologies and the other is a third place runner behind Google and Amazon. Microsoft have talked a lot about the cloud and servers but their ambitious cloud/server game was Crackdown 3 which was quite the step down from the early demos.

    Microsoft are not even a close third to Google in terms of infrastructure. You have no concept of much greater Google lead in this area, we're talking at least four orders of magnitude. They're incomparable. Seriously.

    I could see Google doing that at some point but they need the right talent. Compared to limited, finite resources of local console hardware, server infrastructure means anything is possible without compromise. You need the right team to think bigger than anybody has thought about games before. That's when we'll see something special, that will make you want to subscribe to Stadia and play and play and play.

    It may never happen, but if anybody is dumb enough to throw that much money and effort at this, it is Google. Because they are floated by market economics to Microsoft and Sony and can play by very different rules.
     
  4. Xbat

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    When I look where there are actual data centers in different regions Azure is in more regions than Google. I'm also pretty sure Microsoft is only second to AWS when it comes to money made using there data centers? I'm also sure they only second to AWS in money invested per annum ?

    I obviously could be wrong but then I've been reading the wrong sites then
     
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  5. iroboto

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    you guys are referring to different things I think.
    DSoup is right on infrastructure and reach.

    But you seem to be referring to specifically the services of renting out Azure to businesses.
    In which yes, Azure and AWS are the larger players as Google Cloud in this space is not as big (at least from an enterprise perspective)
    IIRC
     
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  6. Xbat

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    When it comes to streaming games isn't the nearness of data centers the Holy Grail? Microsoft has actual data centers in more regions than Google.

    Also I could be wrong because this isn't my area of expertise but from what understand Microsoft are also investing more in actual data centers?
     
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  7. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    Location can be important but isn't the be all and end all. Two close points linked by copper will have greater latency than two distant points linked by wideband fibre and Google have peering POPs all over and hardware in most large exchanges. For years Google have invested heavily to ensure everyone can connect to a Google datacentre superfast regardless of the general infrastructure in country.
     
  8. Xbat

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    Yeah but in my country Azure actually has local data centers with peering at all our major exchanges. What I don't expect is for Microsoft to actually put Xcloud hardware in any of our data centers though.
     
  9. Silent_Buddha

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    Have things changed recently? The last I saw (late last year/early this year), Google was a distant 3rd to Amazon (1st) and Microsoft (2nd) in cloud services and infrastructure.

    Thinking about it, Stadia might be a way for them to justify significantly beefing up their cloud infrastructure and hoping to have customers (gamers) using it if they don't see significant pickup in traditional cloud customers.

    Regards,
    SB
     
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  10. Shifty Geezer

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    Likely due to streaming data for local rendering rather than for any cloud shortcomings. Had Crackdown 3 been streamed and run solely on servers, it'd be a different experience, but that's not what MS was trying to do with Crackdown. They are (presently) creating games that run locally. If they choose to run server only games, they could do so - same as Amazon and Google.
     
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  11. iroboto

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    It's a discussion of separate topics more or less. Reach is it a bit different than offerings. Google has massive reach, but most of it is for themselves. They don't offer services in the same way amazon or microsoft do, at least not to the same effect. Most of what Google is trying to accomplish is to perform as much real time shit as possible in terms of data transfer. All your self driving, maps, navigation, Hey Google, Google itself, GPS advertising, advertising, listening in on your phone calls etc. It takes a lot of shit to make it all happen. I mean in terms of reach/scale think about how many clients are using chrome/gmail and how many users they need to support simultaneously for all their services globally. Or the google docs or google collab. They've got lots of applications constantly in use.

    But they are a distant 3rd when it comes to offering storage, compute, databases, cloud services to companies and people.
    Netflix has a lot of their hardware on the edge, meaning they try to put their hardware as close as they can to the customer instead of having everyone push up to larger data centres. They want to be able to ensure all their customers/mobile/tablet etc, can access their netflix as quickly as possible.

    For gaming, I do believe that getting closer to the edge will matter to reduce latency.
     
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  12. Silent_Buddha

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    Sure for internal use things are likely reversed, but MS isn't as far back as one would imagine, I'd think. Bing, Bing Maps (and navigation), Cortana, etc. is obviously a distant second to Google in terms of usage numbers. But Office 365 is offered by virtually all colleges and universities in the US (not sure about abroad) to all of their students. I'm not sure the scale for that server infrastructure is that far off of Google docs.

    But on the flip side Cloud services is significantly far ahead of Google's cloud offerings. Is it a case of Google having a hard time scaling up or Google struggling to find customers on the scale of Microsoft or Amazon? Honest question as I don't know. I'd think Google wouldn't have any trouble scaling up their infrastructure, so I'm assuming it has to do with them not being as successful as Amazon and MS in getting customers for their cloud services.

    Hence, Stadia might be more of an initiative to expand cloud infrastructure and still have it generate some kind of revenue in the face of stronger competition from MS and Amazon for traditional cloud services.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  13. DSoup

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    Microsoft and Amazon have never had better networking infrastructure than Google. I think folks are confusing what is publicly known about Google's commercial cloud platform as Google entire infrastructure. These are very different things.

    No, and this is where Stadia is simpler - everything is on their servers with boners bandwidth - which makes it easier. The end user only has to have sufficient bandwidth to stream. When you're trying to so some calculate locally, some on remote servers, throwing in overheard for what even basic realtime multiplayer requires, you're date bottlenecked at so many key connections the problem becomes very complicated which is, I think, why Crackdown 3 pivoted from hundreds/thousands of small, irregularly-shaped persistent environmental objects in the early the demo to far few large more-regularly-shaped ephemeral objects in the actual game.
     
  14. Shifty Geezer

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    That's what I said. If Crackdown 3 had been a streamed game, running on servers, just steaming video, it'd have been a different game, as it was the local synchronisation bottlenecking the process.

    Of course, the big drawback with game streaming is lag. I doubt 2D fighters are going to be that popular on streaming services. ;)
     
  15. tongue_of_colicab

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    Not just fighters. I've been playing around with steam in home streaming again and even with 1ms input and 45ms image lag right from the start you just feel it somehow isn't as responsive as playing direct. And I tested with games I haven't played for a long time.

    I just don't believe those streaming services will feel very good.
     
  16. Shifty Geezer

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    It possibly depends where you're coming from. In the PS3 era with TVs adding lots of latency, we still managed to game okay. What feels sloppy now might become okay once one gets used to it, while for mobile gamers, those migrating up to proper games, and non-console owners, it may seem all lovely and responsive. But also a lot will depend on the game and how forgiving it is. Games designed for streaming with lag in mind will be more latency tolerant just by design, with play-testing using streamed gameplay to tune. Anything developed and tested locally and rolled out to the cloud could be pretty ropey.

    I think my main concern is consistency. Epic TV lag was tolerable because it was consistent. If network traversal mean odd spikes in control lag, I think that'll turn off most console/PC gamers. Nothing more frustrating than a game that doesn't behave how you want it to.
     
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