Streaming Games from the Cloud

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Arwin, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
    Legend Regular Subscriber

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    6,929
    Likes Received:
    5,206
    You'll need to do point to point comparisons here to be fair. You're associating the cost of building infrastructure for several industries/governments vs a single client. To accept a download you must own a console. It's not the case with streaming, you can stream to more devices, thus your environmental impact should be lower provided they don't need to walk out and buy a console to download the game. Perhaps they can use their phone/tablet/laptop or older console instead.
     
  2. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
    Moderator Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    39,578
    Likes Received:
    9,602
    Location:
    Under my bridge
    I'm not talking money costs but energy. Whether you're building servers for government or gaming, you have to build those servers the same as building consoles. If you're going to consider the cost (energy) to build and transport consoles to users homes, you also need to consider the cost to build and transport the servers.

    I'm avoiding the cost of infrastructure in both cases. I assume the internet is there for both. However, every transaction over that internet has an energy cost, so the more data you are transferring, the higher the costs. For downloads, that's the cost of transferring the game. For streaming, that's the cost of playing the game. There are cases where either is clearly the more optimal. Downloading 100 GB to play a 6 hour single-player adventure is going to cost more internet energy than streaming 6 hours of the game at 5 GB/hour HD video, whereas downloading 100 GB to play 2000 hours of Destiny (you know who you are!) is clearly more efficient than streaming 2000 hours of Destiny at 5 GB/h.

    I notice I stupidly missed the console power cost though. Edited.
     
  3. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
    Legend Regular Subscriber

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    6,929
    Likes Received:
    5,206
    Yea some titles it's not advantageous to do entirely everything through streaming as you provided examples. But i suspect those individuals are few (Destiny streaming players). I see streaming as a supplement to gaming at home. So game at home, and take it on the road with you by streaming. But I suppose there will be individuals who are more comfortable streaming than buying into an ecosystem. With little knowledge of how streaming yet is priced/cost, and what the library is (if your own library or a set library like PSNow) it's hard to tell.
     
  4. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
    Moderator Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    39,578
    Likes Received:
    9,602
    Location:
    Under my bridge
    I agree there's different solution for different consumers. This particular branch of the discussion is just on whether streaming is greener than console gaming. Consideration 1 is whether steaming uses more energy or not. Consideration 2 is whether that energy is greener than that powering home consoles.
     
  5. Silent_Buddha

    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    15,454
    Likes Received:
    4,368
    It's an interesting discussion and I don't think we're equipped here (not enough actual numbers) to determine which would actually be greener.

    But some other things to consider (in addition to some things you touched upon).

    A console purpose build for stream should consume less energy than a console built for traditional play. Does this offset the increase power usage of a server farm?

    A console purpose built for streaming is also likely to feature much less in the way of hardware resources (part of the energy savings as well as cost savings). It likely won't need a mechanical HDD, optical drive, or high powered SOC, saving both on costs and energy on those fronts. Which means it'll also require less exotic cooling and a smaller and probably cheaper PSU. If one could make it passively cooled, that further reduces the energy footprint and build costs. But do the savings on millions or tens of millions of units of consumer hardware balance out the costs of increased server infrastructure and server maintenance?

    Being smaller and cheaper to build, likely means it's not just smaller, but likely lighter. This means shipping costs should be greatly reduced. Ship multiple streaming consoles in the same space as a single traditional console. But again, there's also the costs associated with all of the streaming infrastructure (machines, cooling, power transformers, etc.)

    Being smaller also means less material resources are consumed for the manufacturing of each console (good for the environment and the wallet). OTOH, there's increased material usage for building out the server farms.

    And finally, something touched upon by Brit. Large corporations are increasingly looking at alternative energy sources that can be located on site (solar power, for instance) to power server farms. That may go a fair ways in reducing the energy consumption incurred by those server farms.

    I have no answer, but it's interesting to think about.

    That said, I have yet to use a streaming service that I would consider to be adequate (not even pleasant, but just adequate) for any action oriented game. Both graphically and related to that, in game feedback to player input.

    Regards,
    SB
     
    BRiT likes this.
  6. DSoup

    DSoup meh
    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    10,430
    Likes Received:
    5,190
    Location:
    London, UK
    This is indeed true but that data has to get to your device. How energy efficient, carbon neutral and green, along with the required maintenance, is your home and the internet infrastructure between you and the datacenter? The 'green datacenter' idea was to pacify green and environmental lobbyists.

    There are figures from agreed metrics inside the industry which aren't public. There is a reason for that.

    Not necessarily. The larger an enclosure, the less active cooling you need and less cooling = less energy. Then there are ICs themselves. Every node jump for the last four iterations has required a disproportionate increase in the use of rare earths in fabrication and they are called rare earths because they are a limited natural resource - which cannot be synthesised. It's also virtually economically impossible to recover those rare earths. The resources you save on, like plastics and aluminium, are more abundant and more readily recyclable. You don't even want to know how how bad mobile devices are on the 'green' scale, production of gorilla glass (and alternatives) required insane and costly processes to manufacture.

    It's more complex than it seems.
     
    Silent_Buddha, JPT and BRiT like this.
  7. lefantome

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    50
    No it's not.

    They are different media.
    A game costs 60-70€ for 12 to 99+ hours of entertainment which may span years.
    A blu ray costs 10-20€ for 1.5-3hours.

    Most people don't want to buy blurays because 99% of movies are seen only once.

    Movies gets released in theaters and disc releases are a secondary market. Games primary market is disk based.

    Video is much cheaper to stream than games.
     
    DrJay24 likes this.
  8. lefantome

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    50
    This one of the lightest problem for the environment and it's making thing worse for everybody.

    Not posting online is also better for the environement.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...