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Google Stadia

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7 hours ago, yashiro said:

 

I don't think your use case is a demo down the road from google HQ.

 

Wherever it is it's consistently less than 5ms away round trip

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I don’t really get how you’ll sell this to people in the UK or America, or who it’s aimed at. I understand that they couldn’t afford to host all these virtual machines without charging the subscription, but surely anyone invested enough to be paying a monthly subscription and buying games at full price is going to stick with what they’ve already got rather than switching to a service that, at the very best, will be the same. I guess downloading things is quite annoying, but are you going to switch platforms entirely to avoid that? 

 

I find the use case examples weird. Does anyone actually want to be able to click on a YouTube video and play the game now? But I suppose I’m part of the group who already like games enough to put up with big downloads. Maybe lots of customers won’t? It just seems like if you’re aiming at people who don’t mind a bit of lag and don’t want to wait to download things, it might help if it was cheap and aimed at the general consumer.

 

Are they developing/buying exclusive games? That’s the only think that might convince me. Though maybe there will be free demos? If I could try it out first on my own stuff I might consider it. Otherwise I guess it will be like VR, something people don’t want to buy without having tried it but that the companies involved don’t seem to want to let anyone try it.

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It boils down to whether you want to rent or buy, which has been happening for lots of products and services for years now. Large initial upfront cost vs cheaper ongoing costs for a fast net connection.

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1 hour ago, Stanley said:

Anyone else notice how Phil Spencer has really started to down play the importance of Xcloud since the Stadia announcement? 

Could be for any number of reasons or even a total coincidence. I can imagine them taking this free opportunity to see how Google does with pushing streaming onto gamers and letting them take the negative publicity if it fails for whatever reason. I can't see Spencer being worried about Stadia delivering a better streaming experience given the resources and the Azure stuff specifically that the Xbox team has access to.

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Just now, Mr. Gerbik said:

Could be for any number of reasons or even a total coincidence. I can imagine them taking this free opportunity to see how Google does with pushing streaming onto gamers and letting them take the negative publicity if it fails for whatever reason. I can't see Spencer being worried about Stadia delivering a better streaming experience given the resources and the Azure stuff specifically that the Xbox team has access to.

I don't think he's worried about it being 'better' so much as Google stealing their market share. The language has changed, before Xcloud was sold as being a way of reaching more customers, now it's about giving their fan base choice. Before stuff like lag was never really referenced, now they openly admit it's never going to be the exact same experience as playing locally.  

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Yeah, that could very well be it. Being honest about the drawbacks about their own streaming service is also a way of pointing out the shortcomings of Stadia of course. On the other hand, maybe it's just because they're about to launch a new console - they want to sell that thing, you know? If they were to emphasize that one could just as well buy a cheap streaming box, they would fuck over their own XB2... Maybe they'll focus on establishing the XB2 first, focussing on GamePass, while working on XCloudStrife in the background and waiting to make to make a big marketing push on that a bit further into the next generation. I don't know, it's just fun to speculate :)

 

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3 minutes ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

Yeah, that could very well be it. Being honest about the drawbacks about their own streaming service is also a way of pointing out the shortcomings of Stadia of course. On the other hand, maybe it's just because they're about to launch a new console - they want to sell that thing, you know? If they were to emphasize that one could just as well buy a cheap streaming box, they would fuck over their own XB2... Maybe they'll focus on establishing the XB2 first, focussing on GamePass, while working on XCloudStrife in the background and waiting to make to make a big marketing push on that a bit further into the next generation. I don't know, it's just fun to speculate :)

 

Yeah that's what I was trying to say but you put it much better.

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Is it possible that Microsoft weren’t fully aware of Stadia when they did their xCloud presentation, and were thinking they’d be the only game in town for a while?

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They must have been aware of it. It's all new isn't it so I suppose they're still trying negotiate their way around things, especially since MS have Xbox, GamePass (now for PC) and Xbox Live in addition to Xcloud. They're straddling quite a few islands there.

 

I think what's becoming clearer now is that there are still many obstacles to this becoming mainstream - it's not the game changer some believed it would be, rather it will evolve and improve over time.

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On 14/06/2019 at 09:30, Broker said:

Are they developing/buying exclusive games? That’s the only think that might convince me.

 

Yes, that is why they hired Jade Raymond, to build up their internal development, it is called Stadia Games and Entertainment.

 

 

Surprised nobody has mentioned id's Orion project, their own patented secret sauce software bundle which they claim will reduce latency by 20% and bandwidth requirements by 40% and is available to be implemented in all game engines:

 


 

Quote

 

Orion is a patented collection of software technologies that optimize game engines for superior performance in a streaming environment.

 

Developed by the engineers at id Software, renowned for the industry-leading id Tech 6 game engine, Orion is a game- and platform-agnostic game streaming technology that will stream video games at lower latency and lower bandwidth, making streaming games accessible to more people, in more areas, at higher quality.

 

In contrast to game streaming services that focus on hardware solutions to stream games, Orion is game engine-based technology that optimizes a game for the cloud. Integrated within the game engine itself, Orion can achieve dramatic latency reductions of up to 20% per frame and requires up to 40% less bandwidth. The Orion technology is complementary to the hardware technology in data centers built by other streaming providers, ensuring much better results when paired together.

 

“We leveraged our extensive experience in game engine technology to tackle streaming from a different angle – the game engine itself,” said Duffy. “We wanted a faster, better streaming experience for players, at the level of performance intended by the game’s developers, and at reduced cost and expanded reach for streaming providers. Orion delivers on those goals and will vastly improve streaming video games.”

For players, Orion means enjoying high-speed performance with imperceptible latency even in a twitchy shooter [as demoed live on stage with DOOM (2016)]; lower usage against ISP bandwidth caps; and a wider availability, making quality play available to players living far from data centers.

 

For developers, the Orion SDK is easily integrated into a game, which means they can be confident in delivering a best-in-class experience to players while streaming, with minimal additional effort.

 

For streaming providers, Orion means reaching a bigger audience, at reduced costs, with a superior level of service. Orion makes possible substantially reduced capital investments in data centers and can materially lower the cost in operating a streaming service.

 

“Consumers demand low latency when playing high-performance games, and those games need to be playable by a mass audience – not just those near a datacenter, or those with lightning-fast internet speeds,” said Altman. “With Orion, players can live far from data centers and still be able to stream DOOM at 60 FPS, with 4K resolution and without perceptible latency. An Orion-enabled game will be faster, more fluid, and provide a fundamentally better streaming experience for fans.”

 

 

 

 


 

Quote

 

id Software chief technology officer Robert Duffy shows off Orion by playing the 2016 version of Doom on a MacBook, streaming in 1080p from a data center in Ohio. He says that generally when using the tech, he's able to feel a little latency when using a keyboard and mouse control scheme, but a controller set up "feels fine after a minute or two."

 

Duffy runs through a level with and without one key Orion technique turned on to compare the performance difference.

An on-screen overlay shows a number of stats, including the overall bandwidth being used by the game, the time the GPU in the cloud spends rendering each frame, the time spent compressing/encoding a frame, and GPU and video engine utilization percentages that reflect how much power is needed to run the game.

 

From our observations during the demo, turning the technique on reduces bandwidth use from 27-35 Mbps to 20-23 Mbps, while the Cloud GPU rendering time drops from 1.3 milliseconds per frame to 1 millisecond per frame. Encode time is reduced from 5.7 milliseconds per frame to 4.3 milliseconds per frame. Those reductions may sound modest, but in a game that runs at 60 frames per second, Duffy says they can add up to a big difference for how a game runs for the player. They can also make streaming easier for users whose internet service providers have bandwidth caps or overage charges.

 

Our observations are made on the fly during a single demo run, but a slide Bethesda has prepared a slide for the presentation states that the average bandwidth used during a 10-minute gameplay test with the Orion tech off was 23.43 Mbps, while turning it on drops that to 13.67 Mbps. Likewise, the company says the technique provides encode time efficiencies of "up to 30%" compared with the roughly 25% savings that we note during our demo.

 

 

 

 

https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-06-09-bethesda-unveils-orion-game-streaming-tech

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On 14/06/2019 at 09:30, Broker said:

I don’t really get how you’ll sell this to people in the UK or America, or who it’s aimed at. I understand that they couldn’t afford to host all these virtual machines without charging the subscription, but surely anyone invested enough to be paying a monthly subscription and buying games at full price is going to stick with what they’ve already got rather than switching to a service that, at the very best, will be the same. I guess downloading things is quite annoying, but are you going to switch platforms entirely to avoid that? 

 

I find the use case examples weird. Does anyone actually want to be able to click on a YouTube video and play the game now? But I suppose I’m part of the group who already like games enough to put up with big downloads. Maybe lots of customers won’t? It just seems like if you’re aiming at people who don’t mind a bit of lag and don’t want to wait to download things, it might help if it was cheap and aimed at the general consumer.

 

Are they developing/buying exclusive games? That’s the only think that might convince me. Though maybe there will be free demos? If I could try it out first on my own stuff I might consider it. Otherwise I guess it will be like VR, something people don’t want to buy without having tried it but that the companies involved don’t seem to want to let anyone try it.

 

I think the opportunity here is huge. I've got a load of friends who aren't interested in the cost of a console for what would almost certainly be occasional usage. Plus this opens up a similar concept to shareware and demos which never worked in the previous generations because the download was so prohibitive.

 

It almost certainly won't get the absolute purists but maybe that's not a problem if developers start building to the platform's strengths.

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A couple of details about pricing and software availability if a publisher pulls the plug:

 

A business magazine asked Codemasters what the revenue split on Stadia was for their games, they confirmed it was the industry standard 30%, which explains why Phil Harrison said games wouldn't be cheaper and why developers are putting their games on it, it's just another avenue for selling product with no risk of dilution.

 

 

Quote

 

During a roundtable session, we took the question to Harrison: If we were to purchase a game through Google Stadia – as an example, a single-player focused experience such as Watch Dogs Legion – what would happen should a publisher – in this hypothetical instance, Ubisoft – decide to pull support from the platform a couple of years down the line? As there are no downloads involved in Stadia as a platform, would I still be able to access and play the game that I have purchased from the Stadia servers? 

 

"Yes, you will still be able to access the game," Harrison tells me, reaffirming this point as I ask about playing said hypothetical game without restriction and still being able to access my save data: “yes.”

 

It wouldn't then, I continued, be another P.T. situation – wherein the game could just disappear off of the face of the planet? "Now, there may be – as we've seen in the past – there may be times where a developer or publisher no longer has the rights to sell to new players. That would mean that the game will not be available to new players, but it will continue to be available for existing players.”

 

 

https://www.gamesradar.com/google-stadia-games-and-saves-will-still-be-accessible-even-if-they-are-removed-from-the-platform-says-phil-harrison/?utm_content=bufferce32f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer_grtw

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Surely Google pulling the plug on Stadia itself is much more likely to happen, and likely to happen sooner, than any publisher there losing the rights to one of its own games? I'd be much more worried about that.

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Maybe, I think they would be in it for the long haul as it plays well with their core competencies, Video streaming and further expansion of Chrome, their two major success stories outside of Search/Advertising, which will all benefit from a successful deployment of Stadia.

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Phil Harrison is wrong, if the game is being streamed then it doesn't matter whether it's to old or new players. The license will be gone and no one will be able to stream it.

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26 minutes ago, Stanley said:

Phil Harrison is wrong, if the game is being streamed then it doesn't matter whether it's to old or new players. The license will be gone and no one will be able to stream it.

 

I'm guessing he knows more about their licenses than you do. ;)

 

Stadia is different to something like Netflix, where you pay to access a library of content. If you buy a title on Stadia then it's yours forever, or at least until the service shuts down. 

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He knows fuck all. If Ubisoft decide to stop you playing games on Stadia then nothing Google does will prevent that. He's a snake oil salesman, always has been.

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That would depend on the terms of the license agreement, surely? It would also be in Ubisoft's interests not to piss off the people who've paid for their games.

 

There have been games removes from Steam in the past in favour of publisher specific stores, and they've remained available for download for people who've already bought them. Stadia should be no different there.

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2 minutes ago, Stanley said:

Ubisoft could just let you access it from another service, likely their own.

 

Their own streaming service? 

 

Anyway, like I said they'll be bound by the terms of the license agreement with Google. They could of course part ways in the future and decide not to sell any more games on the platform, but they wouldn't be able to remove anything from people's existing libraries, assuming of course that Phil Harrison isn't attempting to commit fraud. 

 

Incidentally, if he was lieing in that interview then you can be sure that Ubisoft would be quick to clarify the situation.

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