Connect with us

Latest News

Tackling latency in next-gen gaming

Published

on

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

Mathieu Duperré, CEO at Edgegap

Anyone that’s played a video game online has almost certainly experienced some kind of lag and connectivity issues. Despite huge infrastructure advances in the last few decades, latency remains a constant thorn in the side of gamers and detracts from the real-time experience that’s expected today.

Delivering a consistent experience to gamers playing on different devices with varying connection speeds – many of which are separated by thousands of miles – is a complex challenge. Massively popular online games like Roblox and Fortnite are just two of the many games which have benefited from years of investment into infrastructure in order to support millions of concurrent players. As the below chart from SuperJoost shows, multiplayer and online gaming is becoming the preferred way to play games amongst the most active gaming demographic, with all the technical challenges that this creates.

Games which can be played seamlessly across mobile, PC and console (so-called cross-play games) are also pushing the limits of what current internet infrastructure can deliver. Add in a new generation of streaming cloud gaming services like Stadia, Blacknut Games and Amazon’s Luna – plus Microsoft’s Game Pass and Sony’s revamped PlayStation Plus service, and you can see how the promise of console-quality performance over a broadband connection risks overloading networks that were never designed for this level of gaming.

So how can game companies, telcos and ISPs deliver on the performance promises being made to gamers? That’s where edge computing comes in.

 

Lag, latency and the Edge

When talking about latency it’s important to make it clear exactly what we mean. Latency refers to the amount of time it takes for game data to travel from one point to another. From the gamer’s perspective, it’s the delay between their command and seeing it happen in-game. How much latency a gamer experiences is dependent on the physical distance the data must cross through the multiple networks, routers and cables before it reaches its destination.

To use an extreme example, NASA’s Voyager 1 has made it about 14.5 billion miles from our planet so far, and it takes about 19 hours for its radio waves to reach us. Here on Earth, your latency is (hopefully) measured in milliseconds rather than hours; and gamers need around 30ms for the most optimal performance. Anywhere above 100ms can lead to noticeable lag and a frustrating experience.

This is where Edge computing comes in. As the name implies, Edge computing brings computation and data storage closer to the sources of data, placing it on the edge of the network where the performance gain is the greatest. As you’d expect, reducing unnecessary travel drastically speeds up the process providing an almost lag-free experience.

 

More players equals more chance for latency to be a problem

In the early days of gaming, local, couch play was part and parcel of the gaming experience. Today, a game where hundreds or even thousands of players are in the same session is nothing out of the ordinary, and there are Battle Royale games now, a whole genre of games where a hundred or more players are whittled down to a single winner.

The sheer scale of some online games dwarfs many of the most popular streaming services. Whilst Netflix remains the most successful streaming video site with 222 million subscribers, kids game Roblox has 230 million active accounts and Fortnite has over 350 million registered players. So if we assume these games reflect a growing trend, the demand on server networks is only going to increase, and gaming companies will have to look for more innovative solutions to continue meeting demand.

 

Cross-Platform

The ability for gamers on different devices and platforms to play and compete together is becoming an increasingly common feature of AAA multiplayer games like Apex Legends, Fornite and Call of Duty. EA Sports recently confirmed that FIFA 23 will be joining other heavy hitters in exploring cross-platform play. Considering the large amount of games on the market, and the various game modes for each game, studios are looking at crossplay to increase the amount of players who can play together. One of the main driver is to lower matchmaking time and prevent players from having to wait hours before opponents are ready to play with them.

From a latency perspective, different infrastructure across platforms means lag and downtime are far more likely. When it comes to cross-play, studios can’t use P2P (peer-to-peer) since console vendors don’t support direct communication (i.e. an Xbox can’t communicate directly with a playstation). On top of that, P2P may be limited by player’s home network (restrictive natting for example). That’s why studios typically use relays in a handful of centralised locations. Relays are seen as cheaper than authoritative server. They although have large flaws like making it harder for studios to prevent cheating, which is becoming more and more important with Web3 & NFT. This causes  higherlatency since traffic needs to travel longer distances between players. For example, when Apex Legends went cross-platform, players were inundated with frame rate drops, lags and glitches.

Edge computing allows studios to deploy cross-play games as close as possible to their players, significantly reducing latency. Which can negate some of the delay issues around differing platforms.

 

VR and the Metaverse

Despite hitting shelves in 2016, VR is only now slowly making its way into mainstream gaming. Advances in technology have gradually improved the user experience, while also bringing the price of hardware down and closer to the mass market – not to mention the metaverse bringing renewed attention to the tech. But latency issues still present a serious hurdle to wider adoption unless it’s addressed.

Latency impacts the player experience far more in VR than in traditional gaming as it completely disrupts the intended immersive experience. A 2020 research paper found latency of over 30-35ms in VR, had a significant impact on players’ enjoyment and immersion, which was far lower than acceptable margins on a controller.  But when it comes to the metaverse, achieving this might not be enough. Latency between headset and player has to be sub 5ms to prevent motion sickness.

In a recent blog, Meta’s VP, Dan Rabinovitsj, explained that cloud-based video games require a latency of around 75–150ms, while some AAA video games with high graphical demand require sub 35ms. Comparatively, Rabinovitsj suggests metaverse applications would need to reduce latency to low double or even single digits.

For better or worse, we’ve seen glimpses of what the metaverse has to offer already. Decentraland’s metaverse fashion week gave major brands like Dolce & Gabbana an opportunity to showcase virtual versions of their products. But attending journalists reported that the event was fraught with lag and glitches.

Gamers are a fickle bunch, so early adopters will simply move back to other games and platforms if they have poor initial experiences. Google’s Stadia promised to revolutionise gaming, but its fate was sealed at launch as the platform simply couldn’t compete with its competitors’ latency. Today, Google has ‘deprioritised’ the platform in favour of other projects.

If the metaverse goes to plan, it should encompass a lot more than traditional gaming experiences. But if it’s going to live up to players’ lofty expectations, akin to Ready Player One, more thought needs to be given to scalable and optimised infrastructure.

 

Unlocking next-gen gaming

The pace at which modern gaming is evolving is astounding, making the components discussed here work lag-free and as players expect will be a huge undertaking, and even more so when developers attempt to bring them all together in the metaverse.

The issue of latency may be less headline-grabbing than virtual fashion shows, NFTs and Mark Zuckerberg’s slightly unsettling promotional video, but the ability to seamlessly stitch all of these elements together will be critical in making the metaverse live up to expectations, and therefore, to its success.

 

Latest News

Bacta to host Social Responsibility Exchange in November

Published

on

Bacta to host Social Responsibility Exchange in November
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Bacta will host its annual Social Responsibility Exchange at the County Hall in London on Thursday 22nd November, the trade body announced today. The event will provide members with an opportunity to share best practice tactics and strategies around Social Responsibility.

The event will be introduced by Elizabeth Speech, chair of bacta’s Social Responsibility Committee. YGAM and GamCare will also be speaking at the event alongside Social Responsibility updates from the Gambling Commission.

Bacta Membership, SR and Compliance Manager Russell Edge said: “Our Social Responsibility Exchange will allow members to hear crucial updates on Social Responsibility from the likes of the Gambling Commission, YGAM and GamCare.

“The day-long event will also provide a structured forum for discussion around the tactics and strategies bacta members are employing across the country.

“Ultimately, we hope members leave the event knowing more about Social Responsibility and having exchanged their knowledge where they can.”

 

Continue Reading

Australia

Massive News for the Esports Industry with Potential Inclusion in the Commonwealth Games

Published

on

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Esports is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and there’s no limit to how big it could become. It’s already breached a valuation of $1 billion, and it’s expected to grow to $13.05 billion by 2025.

One of the greatest indicators that competitive gaming is going mainstream is the fact that it has been recognised by the Commonwealth Games. Indeed, it is expected to be included when the event takes place in Victoria in 2026.

Test Run Has Already Taken Place

A few years ago, the thought of seeing Esports at the Commonwealth Games would have been laughable. Now, it is a realistic prospect. It was recently reported that a dry run of the Commonwealth Esports Championships was held in Birmingham, England, at the 2022 Commonwealth Games to see if this type of competitive action could be included as an official event in 2026. It went well and garnered positive feedback from the people involved.

The Victoria edition of the Commonwealth Games is set to take place in 2026, with 16 sports already confirmed. However, the organisers are hoping to add more to the schedule with Esports being strongly considered. Competitive gaming has proven to be a popular spectator sport, with more people tuning in to watch it every year. By 2026, there could be close to a billion people watching Esports, meaning that it would be a popular inclusion at a major event.

Esports has been referred to as the “new sporting frontier,” and it wouldn’t be surprising to see it gaining even more credibility in the next decade. Even the world’s biggest traditional sports had to start somewhere. Football and cricket are now well-established and loved the world over, and there’s nothing stopping Esports from following a similar trajectory.

How Will This Affect Related Industries?

With the Commonwealth Games set to take place in Australia next time, the country could be in a prime position to capitalise on the inclusion of Esports. Part of the success of competitive gaming up to this point has been thanks to related industries pushing it, along with big name companies striking sponsorship deals. Australian companies, therefore, will most certainly seek to capitalise in 2026.

The betting industry was built around traditional sports, and it is now a behemoth industry around the world. In Australia, online betting is so popular that there are countless sites vying for bettors’ attention. Indeed, there are so many to sift through that people turn to comparison sites that list the best ones based on their offers and ratings. Bettors simply scroll through and then click a link to be taken directly to a site.

Many of these online sportsbooks are already offering eSports betting, and the number of markets available is only set to rise in the future. When the Commonwealth Games rolls around, betting sites could benefit from special offers. They may also start to have a greater focus on Esports, thus drawing more attention to the competitive gaming industry.

Esports at the Commonwealth Games isn’t just huge news for the industry itself, but it’s a great move for related industries. Australian companies are set to benefit in 2026, with the betting industry being in a particularly strong position to take advantage.

Continue Reading

eSports

Nigma Galaxy female CS:GO Champions: New docu-series follows rise to becoming champions

Published

on

Nigma Galaxy female CS:GO Champions: New docu-series follows rise to becoming champions
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

This Sunday 14th, Nigma Galaxy is set to release the first episode of their new docu-series, Jiggy Biggy Best: A CS:GO Story, which follows their hugely successful female CS:GO team and their journey to becoming champions at two major tournaments this year.

The first instalment of the series will be launching on Nigma Galaxy’s YouTube channel at 1pm CEST on Sunday. You can find more information below, in case the team’s story would be of interest to your editorial plan:

  • Fans will get a behind the scene glimpse into the female Nigma Galaxy CS:GO team preparing for two of the biggest tournaments of their careers – ESL Impact League Season 1 in Dallas to the stand-alone ESL Impact tournament in Valencia
  • The docu-series also offers an exclusive peek into the teams journey to the top – their training regime, team cohesion and a deeper dive into the world of female esports
  • Uncover the dedication and support Nigma Galaxy have placed on the competitive female esports scene, one of the fastest-growing sub-genres in the industry
Continue Reading
Advertisement
EvoPlay
Advertisement
Advertisement

Subscribe to our News via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to our news and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Trending

Notice for AdBlock users

We are constantly showing banners about important news regarding events and product launches. Please turn AdBlock off in order to see these areas.