Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.
Published on April 12, 2019 By Frogboy In Stardockians

Let's talk about this month's Stardock Magazine!
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Topics:

  • Google Stadia
  • AMD's Navi
  • Steam vs. Epic
  • DeskScapes 10
  • Siege of Centauri

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Comments
on Apr 12, 2019

My hope is that these game "platform wars" will produce some set of standard APIs - if for no other reason then to make it easy to "steal" games from one platform and make it exclusive to another one (I believe this is exactly what happened with a recent Steam game which is now on the Epic platform). If it is easy to make a game work on a new platform, multiple plaftorms are great. If not, then they're fragmenting the gaming landscape but do not necessarily increase competition.

 

I think the maturity of high-bandwidth, low-latency internet is still being overestimated. 5G being ubiquitous in a few years? Where? Even in the US, there are many places without affordable broadband providers. Outside the US, there are likewise huge differences in infrastructure. Google Stadia will need huge server parks deployed across the world to succeed - my current ping to google.com is over 100 ms on a very good wired connection, which simply won't cut it. Of course Google does have the money to make this happen, but then we still have one more problem to consider (which affects streaming platforms as a whole): even the illusion of game ownership you had with Steam is no longer there. The game you love will be available only as long as Google provides the servers for it. Afterwards, it's gone, along with all your saves, achievements, etc. I don't think I want to support this business model, personally.

on Apr 12, 2019

These transitions take years.  One year we sent a survey on what people thought about digital distribution and most of our customers were very skeptical about the idea of buying a game and downloading it.

on Apr 14, 2019

The thing about Stadia's lag is that your ping time is only one component of the total lag. There's compression and decompression lag and many other things. When they did the tests on lag, it was coming up around 144ms from button press to reaction on the screen in the best case scenario right on Google's network on a nearby server. That's probably around where you would be with your 9-10ms lag time. For me, with a 80ms ping time to google, it'd be around 230ms lag. The bandwidth continues to go up, I just got 940/40 here, but in a lot of places in the US and Canada, the speeds are going up while the bandwidth caps stay static. At 30gbps, without anyone doing any other streaming in the house, that's about 8 hours per day that you could use it before hitting the cap, and a lot of the kinds of households that would use stadia for streaming are already close to their caps. If they're already using 7/8ths of their cap, then they'd only get about an hour a day on Stadia. 

I think the main thing that would keep people buying equipment for their house though would be VR. I don't see Stadia's lag being low enough for that and the VR devs are already doing a bunch of tricks to shift the view at the last moment in the render pipeline to speed up head tracking latency that just wouldn't be possible when your render pipeline is 30-60ms away.

Navi and multigpu eh? I've heard that Navi was doing something architecturally different to get around GCN's limitation of 64 compute units, but I didn't imagine that they would do multigpu as that method. I figured they'd start spinning up a new architecture at this point.

Personally, if they do multigpu virtualization in a way that lets me pass part of a gpu through to a VM, then so much the better. I might get rid of my one and only remaining windows system if I could do gpu passthrough with just one GPU. (My last windows box is a Ryzen3-2200g using the integrated graphics, in a Mini-STX settop box formfactor.)

It's not just gaming that's going to a multi source model, but also video streaming. Every big company is trying to get their own streaming service going. If it were just me and not my family, I'd be subscribing to one service at a time for a month or two, then dropping that one and moving to another, and just playing the content backlog from each service every time I switched. Trying to get the whole family on board with that kind of plan is harder... As for PC gaming, I'm pretty much sticking to just 4 services myself. Itch.IO, Humble, GoG, and Steam. I'm not bothering with anyone else, and if they go exclusive on one of those for awhile, I'll just be patient or play it on consoles instead.

on Apr 14, 2019

I didn't perceive any lag when I played with it.

on Apr 14, 2019

Frogboy

I didn't perceive any lag when I played with it.

I just looked up the article. I was a bit low, it's around 166ms, but 166ms lag is not out of the typical range for modern gaming, on par with most consoles. Did they have any FPS games controlled with a mouse on display? I think mouse movement lag would be a lot easier to notice than third person action game lag.

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2019-hands-on-with-google-stream-gdc-2019

on Apr 14, 2019

Kazriko


Quoting Frogboy,

I didn't perceive any lag when I played with it.



I just looked up the article. I was a bit low, it's around 166ms, but 166ms lag is not out of the typical range for modern gaming, on par with most consoles. Did they have any FPS games controlled with a mouse on display? I think mouse movement lag would be a lot easier to notice than third-person action game lag.

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2019-hands-on-with-google-stream-gdc-2019

As one of the testers of Stadia (Project Stream) when they had closed testing, I was surprised at how responsive the controls were. The game they sent out to the testers was Assassins Creed Odyssey, and running at max settings. With fast paced combat and a lot of action sequences I didn't experience any lag at all. I tested the game using M/KB and a XBox controller.