Remote game services (OnLive, Gaikai, etc.)

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Rangers, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Acert93

    Acert93 Artist formerly known as Acert93
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    TW and Co may kill this with bandwidth caps before it even launches!
     
  2. function

    function None functional
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    I think they'll struggle, but maybe even that's not as crazy as it sounds (if we're talking about the box being "ready to display" rather than it necessarily being shown on the tv).

    For the sake of argument, if we were to assume 10ms to send the user input update to the OnLive servers, an average 8ms to draw (capped to 60fps), 2 ms to encode, and 18 ms to transfer back to the player (lets say 10ms network latency, 8 ms of transfer on a 10mbit connection). You get 38 ms and you'd have a new frame ready and waiting to be displayed display.

    Granted, I've just pulled these figures out of my arse, but 10 ms to send input updates isn't out of this world, nor is averaging 8ms per frame or a user having a 10 mbit net connection. Adding* 2ms latency for their encoder might be a stretch (they claim 1ms). Internet connections will only continue to get faster, dropping frame transfer times and reducing latency further.

    [Edit]*Just clarifying that I think the "1ms" they talk about for video encoding could be additional latency rather than necessarily total encoding time.[/Edit]
     
    #222 function, Apr 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2009
  3. hoho

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    That would require the servers to be able to render at 125FPS. Not completely imposible but quite surely not doable on high-end games.
    Being generous, you can transfer ~23 kB in 18ms over 10Mbit network. That should include enough information for one full frame image and ~33ms of 5.1 sound*

    Assuming they send stuff at 30FPS you have ~33ms of time between two frames. In 33ms you can send ~42kB of data over 10Mbit, 42kB for one image frame and 33ms of 5.1 sound. However they have said they only require 5Mbit connection for 720p@60FPS so divide those numbers by 4 (2x smaller bandwidth, 2x higher FPS) to get the numbers they have promised. Seems kind of unreal for me.


    *) They have been promising 5.1 sound in pretty much every interview-article I've read.
     
  4. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    You must have a flippin' good internet connection to see this as plausible!! Are you Korean? Here in the UK, the steam engines can push the electrons around the induction coils at about 140 pounds per foot per square inch of copper. Most people prefer to use errand boys to carry letters still as they're faster! I get a 34 ms ping to Google, which I understand have a server within 5 metres of every house, minimum. 10 ms round trip, when you don't know which nodes your signal is going to have to pass through, is being very optimistic IMO.
     
  5. grandmaster

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    And once again, if we assume that OnLive demoed at GDC in controlled, or as close to optimum conditions, as they could, why are these low latencies not seen in their own presentation? Their choice of server location, their choice of hardware, their choice of connection...
     
  6. Shifty Geezer

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    Indeedy. When have we ever seen a demo that wasn't polished to beyond normal quality? The marketing peeps would never allow it! The real-world product is inevitably going to be inferior to the best-case demonstration which itself overshot the 80ms lag target.
     
  7. Brad Grenz

    Brad Grenz Philosopher & Poet
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    I think you are misconstruing his quote. I think he probably meant that 35-60ms of input latency is what you will commonly experience in normal, "local" gaming. That being the case 80ms on their service doesn't seem like that much more.
     
  8. function

    function None functional
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    For a game capped at 60fps most frames will be drawn in rather less than 16.7ms. How much less will, of course, depend on the game. The faster you can finish the update, the faster you can send it out ...

    Assuming their claims of 5mbps net connections being able handle their 720p service are accurate (time will tell) then IMO it's reasonable to assume that - unless it's in some way held back - a 10 mbps line can transfer the same data in less time thus reducing latency.

    Well, I was trying to give an optimistic "for the sake of argument" figure ...

    That said, I've just booted up Team Fortress 2 and played on a good UK based server (I'm in the UK too!) with 22 other players and my ping has stayed consistently in the 20 to 30 ms range, with it normally hanging around the mid 20's. When I tried one of their empty servers my ping hovered around (even dropping under) 20 ms.

    So on a 10 mbps domestic UK line, and on a busy server with no special connection to my ISP, I'm getting some pretty good results. The OnLive box should be able to send updates to OnLive at least as fast as I can send data to a TF2 server. Hopefully.

    I'm highly sceptical of 40ms latency being realistic for the service, but I won't say it's technically impossible.
     
  9. Shifty Geezer

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    What ISP are you using to get 10 mbps? You must by on fibre, which is a pretty rare thing here. It'd be nice if best-case they could achieve an 80 ms round trip, but Perlman was saying this was worst case! The average is what most people are going to experience. How good or bad is that likely to be?
     
  10. psorcerer

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    It doesn't affect latency, latency cannot be "affected".
    Memory access latency will kill all the "multiple instances" instantly.
     
  11. borowki

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    I think you missed the point of my post. My main point is that in the future, the device that renders the graphics and perform the major computation task will be untethered from the output device. A service like OnLive is just an extreme form of this (where the computation occurs on a remote server). If it's possible to deliver acceptable performance over the Internet, it's possible to deliver performance that meet the expectation of hardcore players through local streaming.
     
  12. scificube

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    The display device is in the present day untethered from the GPU and CPU in that neither really gives a hoot about the display device or where it happens to be physically located.

    Local streaming is not something OnLive or any other commercial service could leverage unless you are suggesting they require the purchase of local hardware to play games.

    While we can speculate about the future Onlive is making claims about what they can do today.
     
  13. function

    function None functional
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    I'm currently with Virgin Media. The cable coming into the house is coax but I think a lot of their infrastructure round here is fibre. Things seems better than when I was on adsl - I can download at practically the full 10 mbps from someone with fast servers.

    If someone like OnLive were to work with Virgin I could quite imagine latency of under 80 ms. Although if it had similar issues to their set top box (where on demand keeps failing on me and the box keeps freezing) things might still not be ideal.
     
  14. grandmaster

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    We seem to be coming up with absolute best case scenarios in order to explain Perlman's worst case scenario!
     
  15. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Hmm, yeah. Is there any way to hit 40 ms, the supposed going performance of OnLine?
     
  16. Delta9

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    If this does work decent enough, will it not be as good working with 2 systems going on in the same house?

    The interface and functions are hot:cool:
     
  17. Brad Grenz

    Brad Grenz Philosopher & Poet
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    Depends on your connection, I'm sure.
     
  18. Thowllly

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    Did you try pinging anything else? Just because they have many servers doesn't mean they have a low ping. I got 37ms ping to google.no min. but only 15ms pinging vg.no (norwegian newspaper), and only 8ms to my ISPs webpages. (ADSL2 connection)
     
  19. Shifty Geezer

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    I've tried a few with nothing faster than 30ms. My ISP should be the fastest but they appear to have ping response disabled, which makes sense. Point is, for widespread availability, Google shouldn't be beatable. That you may find a 'local' server with a ping as low as 15ms isn't much of a reference for OnLive's average ping. If you're lucky, they'll have a server next-door and you'll have an exceptionally low ping, but for most users that won't be the case. Unless OnLive have servers absolutely everywhere, a low latency isn't happening.
     
  20. Tim

    Tim
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    I am pretty sure that you are wrong about google - afaik google uses mayor data centers and depending on load you might not even be directed to closest one. When I ping google I get a nice trip half way around the world (from Denmark to California).

    If you want to check the location of the server you are pinging you could try:

    http://dndetails.com/location.php


    With xDSL you should be able to get pings in the range of 15-30 ms with serves that are reasonable local (I get 23-25ms (6Mbit ADSL) for pretty much any server located in Denmark - with a 10 or even 20 Mbit dsl connection I should be able to do quite a bit better).

    Anyway I don't see why anyone with fast (and expensive) would use this instead of a real console (or PC).
     
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