The upcoming Google Stadia is a cloud-based gaming service that allows you to game on your Chrome browser or your Chromecast-enabled TV. Questions were raised as to whether there would be any slow down in experience considering you’re playing a game that’s installed in a server far, far away.
Google has made it clear that all you need is a decent internet connection to play games smoothly – but Stadia VP, Madj Bakar will eventually be “faster” than traditional consoles. Bakar explains that Google is employing something called “negative latency” to address input lag – what it does is predict button inputs to take away any latency that may occur.
Sounds fine in theory, but should every button press be predicted, we may see the gaming experience be overly assisted. That takes away some of the challenge of playing the game – one good example as 9to5 Google points out is in fighting games. Feints are key parts in these games – players fake a set of button presses to feint a move, then hit their opponents with something else. AI prediction of button presses could prevent that and render players predictable.
But reports say that this is in development and we could really only be seeing it’s full effects in two years’ time. Since the Google Stadia is set to be launched sometime next month, so we’ll see how bad input lag really is first on the system, perhaps negative latency won’t really be needed.