It looks like Google is already trying to figure out ways to reduce the latency involved with streaming games. First reported on by PCGamesN, in an interview with Edge Magazine, Google’s vice president of engineering, Madj Bakar, explained that the company is prepping to use “negative latency” to increase performance and reduce lag between players and the servers within a few years on Stadia, thus outperforming local hardware running the same games.
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.
While “negative latency” is technically not a real thing, Bakar uses the term to describe a buffer of predicted latency. Thus, this buffer will be used for lag mitigation. Baker touches on two key ways that this will possibly work. The first would be a rapid increase of frames per second to reduce the lag between the player and the game as things are moving faster. The other, and albeit something that sounds completely wild, is that Stadia could predict what buttons the player will hit next.
Yes, you read that correctly. Google Stadia may be able to predict exactly what you plan to do next in a game. This is thanks to the sheer power that a cloud based streaming service is capable of thanks to the mass of data centers used for the Stadia servers. This power, which is more than local hardware is capable of, will allow for this predictive button pushes. However, this technology is still in its infancy, so it may be awhile before it is implemented.
Google Stadia is set to launch later this year to those who have preordered the Founder’s Edition of the service. Otherwise, the streaming service is set to launch publicly for everyone at some point early next year. With this console generation ending next year and Xbox Scarlett and PlayStation 5 releasing next holiday, it will be interesting to see if Google Stadia will indeed beat out those consoles in the coming years.