Google’s streaming engineer, Alex Wiltshire, has been speaking to Edge magazine and has claimed that games played via Stadia will be faster and more responsive that games played locally. In other words, the Stadia version of Destiny 2 which may be running on a server hundreds of miles from your location will be faster to react to your inputs than a copy of the same game playing on a console or PC less than three metres away.
If that sounds impressive and possibly a little far fetched, you would be right on both counts, this claim is in regards to Stadia a few years from now. “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.”
Google are engineering what they call “negative latency”, a technique that should mask any lag between the player and the data centres. This technique includes increasing the FPS to reduce latency between the screen and the player and predicting your button presses.
Yep, Google Stadia might start playing the game for you. AI has come a long way but getting Stadia to predict what you going to do in a game before you execute the action could lead to all sorts of problems.
For a start, what if Google get it wrong? You were going to dodge but Google decided you were going to fire instead and you die because the AI is rubbish. Equally, what if you were going to pull off a winning punch but the AI has decided you’re a bit crap and should miss the attack.
You also have to wonder how enjoyable games will be when you know the Stadia is playing as wingman for you. Google Stadia launches next month, we’re looking forward to giving it a try.