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Google Stadia will use “negative latency” to predict player choices

Google Stadia Details Negative Latency

So there are some concerns for Google Stadia when it comes to a handful of technical hurdles that are keeping users away. Aside from the obvious limitations of needing a rather speedy connection to handle all of the data throughput, there’s another concern people have about the cloud-based service. The issue of bandwidth use is pretty big for some people, as Stadia will swallow several GB of data in a play session without thinking twice. In an interview with Edge, Google Stadia vice president of engineering Madj Bakar revealed some of the plans the company has for dealing with these problems.

Bakar has stated that the streaming platform will use a concept he referred to as “negative latency”, to help deal with the bandwidth overhead and other challenges. For one thing, this new technology will help smooth out FPS spikes and drops by using a predictive algorithm. This works by having an algorithm trained on various games, possibly with some deep learning optimizations in the future, to predict what the most common actions players will take is, and then apply them ahead of the player submitting an in-game action.

The tech will also use lag mitigation techniques to deal with other issues. like increasing FPS rapidly to reduce latency between player input and display output. The goal with Stadia is seemingly to make the experience as seamless as possible.

“Ultimately, we think in a year or two we’ll have games that are running faster and feel more responsive in the cloud than they do locally,” Bakar says to Edge, “regardless of how powerful the local machine is.”

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With the PS5 and Xbox Scarlett due to drop in 2020 and beyond, Stadia will be really up against a wall to deliver a high-quality gaming experience. This competition will hopefully result in a much richer experience for Stadia, but it will be a very difficult and uphill struggle. The addition of some major titles like Baldur’s Gate 3 help in that regard, but Google needs a lot more muscle to flex the competition out of the way. The price points will also be a contributing factor, but it won’t be easy nonetheless. Google Stadia is set to launch next month, so we’ll see how this effort pans out.

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