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Google Stadia - "a game streaming service for everyone"

abija

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To bring in games like Red Dead, Google spent astronomical sums (tens of millions *each*)...
Just to reiterate the absurdity of this thing: Sources say Google spent tens of millions of dollars -- the budgets of some major games -- PER Stadia port.
I thought that's normal for games like RDR? And games with low budget that make it big aren't quite the norm, more like lottery winners.
Reads like fake outrage, a lot of barking to let them know what pockets to line...
 
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Tacgnol

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Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Grab the Codex by the pussy RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 [Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.] Pathfinder: Kingmaker I helped put crap in Monomyth
Weird how they went about this. I'd always assumed that if one were to start out with cloud based gaming, if you started small and grew it over time eventually the technology necessary make this format more viable would arrive at some point in the near future - that is, emerging tech in reducing latency or a custom thin client the integrates with the service to improve performance. You keep the service going to continually improve. Think Google just spent crazy Google money with little vision. Reminds me of Microsoft moving into mobile phones for some reason.

The big corps have the money to gamble on these sorts of projects. If they fail, they lose a bit of pocket money, but a big success could propel them into the stratosphere.

Google in particular is pretty infamous for the amount of failed projects they back and develop in the hope of one being successful. In fairness, it seems to be a valid strategy.
 

Ravielsk

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Weird how they went about this. I'd always assumed that if one were to start out with cloud based gaming, if you started small and grew it over time eventually the technology necessary make this format more viable would arrive at some point in the near future - that is, emerging tech in reducing latency or a custom thin client the integrates with the service to improve performance. You keep the service going to continually improve. Think Google just spent crazy Google money with little vision. Reminds me of Microsoft moving into mobile phones for some reason.

Because there is no good way to start small with streaming anything. Just video streaming requires a fairly massive servers to get that compressed video to anyone at a reasonable speed(why do you think Youtube alternatives struggle so much with getting of the ground) and streaming an entire PC or games requires even bigger servers, mainly because there you cannot cheat by bunching together X amount of server racks or throttling traffic/server usage to get the best performance. You need at least a dedicated GPU, CPU and RAM so when you are offering 4k 60fps streaming you need as a bare minimum the EQUIVALENT of a RTX2080, a core i9 and 32gb of ram. So if your server has say something like 1tb of ram, something like 270 cores and 32 RTX level graphics processors then that server is hardcapped at servicing 32 customers at any given time. So just to offer such a service in one of the bigger american cities to say around 5000-10000 customers is a hefty investments that requires a lot of people to pay for subscription to be profitable. The equation changes slightly when you target lower standard such as 1080p 60fps but its not like it cuts the initial investment and maintenance costs by 90%.
Streaming just video on the other hand lets you use that same hypothetical server to service thousands of customers as sending 500mb of HD video of the net means the server wont hear from you for the next 10-20 minutes and can keep sending data packets to other customers.


The sheep are buying on this consumer friendly bs from Microsoft, only looking short term, they dont know they might get fucked on the long term.
The sheep are not the only factor in this equation what is really important here are the publishers because here is the thing: If you switch to a 100% streaming model its effectively as if your company got bought out by Microsoft only without giving you a cent in return for that buy out. So if your entire catalog runs exclusively(or mostly) on Xcloud you have effectively 0 control over it. If Microsoft were to decide that they will be taking a 70% cut there is nothing you can do about it as the existence of your product is entirely dependent on their streaming "service". This is perhaps why everyone was so reluctant to support Stadia, they knew that if Google makes it big with Stadia it will screw them before it screws the sheeple. This is also why the success of streaming is not entirely dependent on customers but on publishers because if EA or Ubisoft (wisely) decide not to publish their stuff on Xcloud then it will struggle to gain any major foothold either way.
I am sure some retarded indies will take the bait, the same way they took it with G2A, but what the big fish will do is what will really decide how it will shake out.
 

Daemongar

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Weird how they went about this. I'd always assumed that if one were to start out with cloud based gaming, if you started small and grew it over time eventually the technology necessary make this format more viable would arrive at some point in the near future - that is, emerging tech in reducing latency or a custom thin client the integrates with the service to improve performance. You keep the service going to continually improve. Think Google just spent crazy Google money with little vision. Reminds me of Microsoft moving into mobile phones for some reason.

Because there is no good way to start small with streaming anything. Just video streaming requires a fairly massive servers to get that compressed video to anyone at a reasonable speed(why do you think Youtube alternatives struggle so much with getting of the ground) and streaming an entire PC or games requires even bigger servers, mainly because there you cannot cheat by bunching together X amount of server racks or throttling traffic/server usage to get the best performance. You need at least a dedicated GPU, CPU and RAM so when you are offering 4k 60fps streaming you need as a bare minimum the EQUIVALENT of a RTX2080, a core i9 and 32gb of ram. So if your server has say something like 1tb of ram, something like 270 cores and 32 RTX level graphics processors then that server is hardcapped at servicing 32 customers at any given time. So just to offer such a service in one of the bigger american cities to say around 5000-10000 customers is a hefty investments that requires a lot of people to pay for subscription to be profitable. The equation changes slightly when you target lower standard such as 1080p 60fps but its not like it cuts the initial investment and maintenance costs by 90%.
Streaming just video on the other hand lets you use that same hypothetical server to service thousands of customers as sending 500mb of HD video of the net means the server wont hear from you for the next 10-20 minutes and can keep sending data packets to other customers.
It's obvious you can see the problems they are dealing with, and those were predictable by everyone. Starting small would actually be very simple. They could start small by focusing on single player games, or non-graphics intensive games. But if cloud based FPS games require the same amount of bandwidth as a YouTube, they should have never stepped into this.

If their strategy is to host a pc in the cloud and have you play games via virtual session, the strategy was terrible to start. They are playing to the weakness of the internet and client server technology, not it's strengths. Your vision above would require a tremendous amount of data transferred. YouTube isn't even a fair comparison. When you are watching a video, you can't change the outcome - its compressed and decompressed and streamed on the fly and streaming video traffic is one way.

It would also be very odd to renderer the same map 32 times, one for each customer. Essentially, the nature of FPS games would need to be changed to make Google's strategy work. Maybe that's why the huge outlay for vendors from Google. That is to say - right now in World of Warcraft, the client hosts the bulk of the heavy lifting. Once one connects to battlenet - Blizzards server maintains player interactions and such, but doesn't host the image of everyone else - your client does. FPS games are designed around limiting the work the server has to do. Creating a server with 32 video processors for 32 players sounds downright horrible. Why would the same map need to be rendered 32 times unless it was a limitation of the game itself? A multi-player game designed around thin clients would need to be built from the ground up, and keep the amount of data transferred as skinny as possible because Google can't control end user data connections, but will have to deal with support calls from everyone on DSL or such.
 

francisbaud

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Joined
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Messages
12
How could a 100-150ms input-lag cloud gaming service actually work. Who would want to play on a machine hundreds of miles apart rather than just using a console.
 

J_C

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How could a 100-150ms input-lag cloud gaming service actually work. Who would want to play on a machine hundreds of miles apart rather than just using a console.
It's not 100-150 ms. Geforce Now (which I actually tried) has between 20-50 ms, based on your connection. At this moment my Geforce Now connection has 35 ms latency. It's perfectly managable if you don't play competitive games. If my country had a datacenter, it would probably go down to 20 ms, which is only slightly worse than a wireless mouse.

I don't actually use game streaming, because the games I play run on my PC, but I perfectly see someone how does not want to buy a PC use it.
 
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francisbaud

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Joined
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Messages
12
How could a 100-150ms input-lag cloud gaming service actually work. Who would want to play on a machine hundreds of miles apart rather than just using a console.
It's not 100-150 ms. Geforce Now (which I actually tried) has between 20-50 ms, based on your connection. At this moment mine has 35 ms. It's perfectly managable if you don't play competitive games.
I really doubt the time it takes to send the information off to the cloud service, to process this information and then send it back would take 20-50ms. That seems impossible, unless you live next to the cloud service facility.

Here's an example of what we can expect (from a IGN article)

Input latency stats (in milliseconds)
Game------------Local PC 1080p--------Stadia PC 1080p-----------Stadia TV 1080p----------Stadia TV 4K
Destiny 2-----------------83-----------------------------150-------------------------------163----------------------------167
Shadow of the
Tomb Raider-------------63-----------------------------125-------------------------------213----------------------------279
 

J_C

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How could a 100-150ms input-lag cloud gaming service actually work. Who would want to play on a machine hundreds of miles apart rather than just using a console.
It's not 100-150 ms. Geforce Now (which I actually tried) has between 20-50 ms, based on your connection. At this moment mine has 35 ms. It's perfectly managable if you don't play competitive games.
I really doubt the time it takes to send the information off to the cloud service, the time it takes to process this information and send it back would take 20-50ms. That seems impossible.

Here's an example of what we can expect (from a IGN article)

Input latency stats (in milliseconds)
Game Local PC 1080p Stadia PC 1080p Stadia TV 1080p Stadia TV 4K
Destiny 2 83 150 163 167
Shadow of the
Tomb Raider 63 125 213 279
Look, I don't have the equipment to test this, I'm just saying what the connection test on Geforce Now shows me. And when I tried an FPS on it, it was managable. It was noticable, but it wasn't something you can't get used to. Hell, people people play games in sub 30 fps, which looks awful, but they get used to it.

By the way, that IGN article probably is a load of bullshit. There have been tests on video, which show that a wireless mouse has a latency of 15-20 ms. And they say that it is 63-83? Nope.
 
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J1M

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May 14, 2008
Messages
13,040
You can't "Patch" the speed of light.
They were contemplating "predictive input" as a feature. Essentially pushing the buttons for you to reduce perceived latency at the cost of accuracy.
 

baud

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RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In [Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.] Pathfinder: Kingmaker I helped put crap in Monomyth
Weird how they went about this. I'd always assumed that if one were to start out with cloud based gaming, if you started small and grew it over time eventually the technology necessary make this format more viable would arrive at some point in the near future - that is, emerging tech in reducing latency or a custom thin client the integrates with the service to improve performance. You keep the service going to continually improve. Think Google just spent crazy Google money with little vision. Reminds me of Microsoft moving into mobile phones for some reason.

The big corps have the money to gamble on these sorts of projects. If they fail, they lose a bit of pocket money, but a big success could propel them into the stratosphere.

Google in particular is pretty infamous for the amount of failed projects they back and develop in the hope of one being successful. In fairness, it seems to be a valid strategy.

Google's strategy of going for moonshot might be valid, but it looks like it haven't gotten anywhere yet (apart from Waymo, maybe?)
 

Ravielsk

Prophet
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
824
Starting small would actually be very simple. They could start small by focusing on single player games, or non-graphics intensive games.
The scope or graphical intensity of a game have nothing to do with it. You cannot realistically split up a GPU between multiple applications in any way that would matter. Essentially it could help to service a few more people but it would only post-pone the problem for later when bigger games started hoping onto the platform. Eventually streaming has to tackle more demanding processes and there these sorts of work-around stop working either way.
Besides from a market perspective I highly doubt many people would be jumping to yet another service for a bunch of AA/indie games

But if cloud based FPS games require the same amount of bandwidth as a YouTube, they should have never stepped into this.
It actually requires more. I do not remember the exact numbers but a 1080p 60fps clocks around 20-40GB per hour or two. It strongly depends on the game. Naturally turn based titles or games with slower action and fewer colors take up less bandwith but at high resolutions and framerates the file size is high regardless.

Your vision...
Its not my vision that is how it works currently. Games and any other highly demanding applications are designed to run on dedicated hardware, not to run in some bizzaro multi instance server setup that most "cloud" applications use. So the only thing that can be done with that is to virtually partition the server hardware to perform like a local dedicated PC and send the results over the net. It could be theoretically made more efficient by redoing the code to run multiple instances of itself on the same hardware but really those are optimization pennies not magic that would let you turn 270 cores into 2700 cores.



It would also be very odd to renderer the same map 32 times, one for each customer. Essentially, the nature of FPS games would need to be changed to make Google's strategy work. Maybe that's why the huge outlay for vendors from Google. That is to say - right now in World of Warcraft, the client hosts the bulk of the heavy lifting. Once one connects to battlenet - Blizzards server maintains player interactions and such, but doesn't host the image of everyone else - your client does. FPS games are designed around limiting the work the server has to do. Creating a server with 32 video processors for 32 players sounds downright horrible. Why would the same map need to be rendered 32 times unless it was a limitation of the game itself? A multi-player game designed around thin clients would need to be built from the ground up, and keep the amount of data transferred as skinny as possible because Google can't control end user data connections, but will have to deal with support calls from everyone on DSL or such.
Its not strange, its how it works right now. You could potentially redo the games to have one set of GPUs and CPUs focused on rendering the whole map without culling and another set dedicated to running player actions and interactions but that alone introduces new problems where you would basically have to cut out a chunk of the available HW from the rest and make it exclusively process that one game. Which depending on the number of players and demand for other games might not be possible.
 
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Messages
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Codex Year of the Donut
There was a paper published last year that analyzed Stadia network traffic if you want to know more: https://arxiv.org/pdf/2009.09786.pdf
It uses about 10 GiB an hour to stream a 1080p 3D action game(rise of the tomb raider,) and they had a 10ms RTT.
In all cases, the 95 % percentile of the RTT values is lower than the duration of a single video frame (16.67ms), meaning that in these tests Stadia had the opportunity to interact with the player’s actions without any perceptible delay.
 

Daemongar

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Its not strange, its how it works right now.
Not going to make a long post. I understand how it works now, and to bring it full circle, if their vision was to do it "how it works now" then it was a bad idea. The only way this will work is if the games themselves are rewritten as client server applications, which in turn factor in the efficiencies of client server technology. It's agreed that the Stadia games run shittier than local consoles, as they did nothing but introduce long distances between your controller and the the action. I expect more from Google - as described it was doomed from the start.

Also, they could start small - they could market their service to females. Females play mostly casual single player games.
 
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Messages
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Codex Year of the Donut
Its not strange, its how it works right now.
Not going to make a long post. I understand how it works now, and to bring it full circle, if their vision was to do it "how it works now" then it was a bad idea. The only way this will work is if the games themselves are rewritten as client server applications, which in turn factor in the efficiencies of client server technology. It's agreed that the Stadia games run shittier than local consoles, as they did nothing but introduce long distances between your controller and the the action. I expect more from Google - as described it was doomed from the start.

Also, they could start small - they could market their service to females. Females play mostly casual single player games.
But why would women use it? Most casual games can be played on cheap hardware.
The problem with Stadia was always content. When I found out users are expected to buy each title individually I knew it was dead. I originally thought it was a subscription service like Microsoft's gamepass, and it came with a bunch of games. Having to buy full-priced games that are completely locked to Stadia's library was just icing on the shit sundae.

The only games this service is useful for are AAA hardware intensive games. Coincidentally, these games also tend to cost the most. If you can afford to buy more than a couple of these, you probably already have or can afford your own gaming PC and don't need the service.
 
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Tried a few of the game streaming services, but settled on a service called Shadow; I'm located very close to one of their datacenters, so have about ~10ms latency. The best thing about it is is the ability to bring your own library.
 

tritosine2k

Augur
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Messages
874
Its not strange, its how it works right now.
...


The only games this service is useful for are AAA hardware intensive games. Coincidentally, these games also tend to cost the most. If you can afford to buy more than a couple of these, you probably already have or can afford your own gaming PC and don't need the service.
Naive, compression cannot handle rasterization imperfections and perfect AA is only an option for artsy games.
 

tritosine2k

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Decado

Old time handsome face wrecker
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I've told this story on the Codex before but I met with a Stadia exec back in March of 2019 at GDC, as part of my job at the time. They were unbelievably arrogant, and even for Silicon Valley types who think they are smarter than everyone. I deal with those people a lot -- this woman was on another level, just supremely arrogant. We started telling her about some of the current issues in the video game landscape that we were seeing and she interrupted us and was like "We know all of this already."

Apparently, they didn't.

Anyway, I'm never glad when something fails but seriously, if any company had this coming it is fucking Google. Fuck them and their attitude. People tried to help them and they sneered at it. I hope Phil Harrison catches his penis in his zipper and cuts his dick, and he has a little cut on his dick for a few days and it is mildly uncomfortable.
 

Keyboard Vomit

Guest
I've told this story on the Codex before but I met with a Stadia exec back in March of 2019 at GDC, as part of my job at the time. They were unbelievably arrogant, and even for Silicon Valley types who think they are smarter than everyone. I deal with those people a lot -- this woman was on another level, just supremely arrogant. We started telling her about some of the current issues in the video game landscape that we were seeing and she interrupted us and was like "We know all of this already."
You sound like an incel that has a problem with strong women.
 

abija

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Messages
2,129
Not going to make a long post. I understand how it works now, and to bring it full circle, if their vision was to do it "how it works now" then it was a bad idea. The only way this will work is if the games themselves are rewritten as client server applications, which in turn factor in the efficiencies of client server technology.
Their whole point is to play on any device which means client needs to only get input and present output, nothing else. There's no magic that can happen, there's a hard limit: you cannot play anything fast/competitive. Plenty of games to sell though.

Real issue is the target audience. Rich gamers that travel a lot and only in areas with great connectivity are a niche at best.
To move people to streaming they need to make it way cheaper for a long period of time or hardcore exclusivity for a long period of time.

Also, they could start small - they could market their service to females. Females play mostly casual single player games.
Small is relative. I thought they started small, for Google.
 

Daemongar

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Codex Year of the Donut
Not going to make a long post. I understand how it works now, and to bring it full circle, if their vision was to do it "how it works now" then it was a bad idea. The only way this will work is if the games themselves are rewritten as client server applications, which in turn factor in the efficiencies of client server technology.
Their whole point is to play on any device which means client needs to only get input and present output, nothing else. There's no magic that can happen, there's a hard limit: you cannot play anything fast/competitive. Plenty of games to sell though.
Would prefer to keep this abstract, but whatever.
  • Build technology changes into your plan. There is a hard limit now BUT technology changes can catch up and be part of your business plan, if you are a technology company with a multi-year plan. Nobody expects the IT landscape to remain static. So, that's why I said "start small but stay in it for the long haul."
  • Reduce the amount of data transferred. Other changes, like remodeling game structure should be part of their strategy to, at a minimum, reduce the amount of data transferred so that the burden is on the server, not the client, even for single player games. Stadia does have an SDK it appears - so I don't know how far along they are in this, or if its even a consideration.
  • Improve online response. Changes such as adopting a steam-like system of matching players up with the servers with the lowest latency can be adopted, and they could change aspects of games from asynchronous to synchronous communications, or something as simple as sending subscribers some kind of ethernet thingamabob with game controllers that creates a dedicated 5Ghz wireless network for and only for the controller. The dumb thing in Googles plan is that Stadia is dependent too much on folks internet speed and home wireless network setup - if either is operating poorly, Stadia looks bad in addition to geographical impediments to communications.
Small is relative. I thought they started small, for Google.
Small as in - understanding the current barriers to a polished product, focus on what your service does best, don't highlight what it does worst in your advertising. My platform does Super Mario Cart well, but Destiny 2 plays poorly. Yes, you can gather more interest placing Destiny 2 in your add, but people are going to show up for Destiny 2, be disappointed and leave.
 

Decado

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I've told this story on the Codex before but I met with a Stadia exec back in March of 2019 at GDC, as part of my job at the time. They were unbelievably arrogant, and even for Silicon Valley types who think they are smarter than everyone. I deal with those people a lot -- this woman was on another level, just supremely arrogant. We started telling her about some of the current issues in the video game landscape that we were seeing and she interrupted us and was like "We know all of this already."
You sound like an incel that has a problem with strong women.

The best way to get over this is marry a good looking and intelligent woman and fuck her brains out every night.
 
Joined
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Messages
11,832
I've told this story on the Codex before but I met with a Stadia exec back in March of 2019 at GDC, as part of my job at the time. They were unbelievably arrogant, and even for Silicon Valley types who think they are smarter than everyone. I deal with those people a lot -- this woman was on another level, just supremely arrogant. We started telling her about some of the current issues in the video game landscape that we were seeing and she interrupted us and was like "We know all of this already."

Apparently, they didn't.

Anyway, I'm never glad when something fails but seriously, if any company had this coming it is fucking Google. Fuck them and their attitude. People tried to help them and they sneered at it. I hope Phil Harrison catches his penis in his zipper and cuts his dick, and he has a little cut on his dick for a few days and it is mildly uncomfortable.

This is exactly the impression I got for everything about their launch. Fantastic, incredible hubris brought on by the expectation that being google and having infinite money means you can't lose. A bunch of mid-level managers who alternate between getting their cock sucked by their employees and the press but have no actual vision or experience got promoted to head a hot new project that required effort, but they put in none and instead assumed they were too big to fail.
 
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