UBI CEO Doubles Down on Streaming Games Over Hardware

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
52,533
There is no doubt that streaming your games from the cloud will one day have its place over buying your own hardware. However what is exactly that place will be is certainly up for debate. We have been playing around with NVIDIA's GeForce Now streaming service that is still in beta. We have an 85Mb/85Mb connection here in the office. Even with no one else on the network, we often get "Bad Network" warnings. When it comes to playability, games like Fortnite are very playable when being streamed for us. Load up something like single player Wolfenstein 2, and the gameplay is much less than good even when it tells us we have a good network. If you really want to see where lag is introduced, play something like Quake Champions, and you can't even help from falling off the side of the map into the void, much less land a railgun shot.

IGN is telling us that UBISOFT is betting big on streaming games from the cloud. However, from our perspective we are a long ways off from game streaming winning out over local hardware. Obviously UBISOFT is looking far beyond simply PC games, but into mobile as well. That all said, reliable and latency "free" bandwidth is likely to be biggest knife in the back of widely adopted in terms of cloud gaming, for the PC crowd anyway.


"Technology is actually going in that direction. The machines will be more powerful and the system to transfer data will be more efficient, so at one point, we will have a better experience streaming something than having to buy a machine and change the machine regularly," Guillemot told IGN.
 

Armenius

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
29,747
It will be a nice option to have, but it will never replace the current system in my lifetime. Yes, I am that pessimistic about the outlook for network infrastructure in the US.
 

MavericK

Zero Cool
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
31,238
The concept is great, but I don't think the execution is ever going to be good enough for this to replace normal gaming.
 

Jovian

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 8, 2004
Messages
362
I agree this is the future of how games will be played but not sure how far into the future that is. The biggest benefit of this is only your connection really matters, if you can stream a video fast then your device is compatible.

Linux would finally get gaming the way they want without all this conversion crap they deal with now. Mac wont have the performance issues it does now and PC and Console would be able to play together if they only get their heads out of their asses.

Curious what the minimum requirements for connection would be for this to work at 1080p. I assume something like 35/5mbps as there will always be some network overhead and upload probably would be minimal compared to download.

They would probably have to have many distributed datacenters and an Akamai like system to handle it.
 

BSmith

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 9, 2017
Messages
1,323
I am gonna grab some popcorn. This is shaping up to be quite comical. :)

I mean, sure you can play any turn base game that way. Maybe that is the future of games? No more real time games. Sure, I can see that.....hehe,....lol......rofl....ROFLMBO!!!!!!
 

bugleyman

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 27, 2010
Messages
1,227
Who knows? Maybe they have found a way around the speed of light and are keeping quiet about it until the patent comes through.

Do I really need a smiley on this?

Well, in fairness the speed of light isn't really the problem, is it? 186k miles per second allows for a global round trip in under 150ms. Almost certainly significantly less with a few data centers. That seems plenty fast, at least for single player games.

That said, this plan is still bad. :p
 

BSmith

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 9, 2017
Messages
1,323
Well, in fairness the speed of light isn't really the problem, is it? 186k miles per second allows for a global round trip in under 150ms. Almost certainly significantly less with a few data centers. That seems plenty fast, at least for single player games.

That said, this plan is still bad. :p

Bzzzzt! Wrong bar-room-breath! About 133ms to send it around the world, but you still need to get it back. So that makes it 266ms. That is too slow for even a modest twitch player, like my Grandma. :)

Obligatory smiley added for proper perspective.
 

Dekoth-E-

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
7,599
They can bet all they want..I don't remember the last UBI game I played. Streaming games will never have a chance at replacing locally installed unless US ISP's are forced to deploy uncapped high speed internet to the entire country and not just select area's. Given how that has worked out so far, I wouldn't hold my breath.
 

gamerk2

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 9, 2012
Messages
1,917
It's not just the bandwidth that matters; latency is arguably a larger factor. At the end of the day, an average of a 40 ping still works out to being 2.5 frames back, which is simply not viable.
 

DejaWiz

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 15, 2005
Messages
21,405
Stupid move, imo. With ISP's partaking in rampant speed throttling and offering shitty speed tiers all over the nation, game cloud streaming is not a viable nor sustainable business model.
 

Tak Ne

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
1,233
Smart move for Ubi, they get to decide how long games stay 'playable', charge extra to support older games or 'premium' server access. They could even charge more to support 4k, HDR or RayTracing.
 

sadsteve

Gawd
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Messages
601
It's not just the bandwidth that matters; latency is arguably a larger factor. At the end of the day, an average of a 40 ping still works out to being 2.5 frames back, which is simply not viable.

Yeah, tell me about it. I game with friends on a server on the east coast and I'm on the west coast. They almost always beat me since my ping is over 100ms and there's is normally in the 40's or less.
 

gtrguy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 8, 2009
Messages
175
It's not just the bandwidth that matters; latency is arguably a larger factor. At the end of the day, an average of a 40 ping still works out to being 2.5 frames back, which is simply not viable.

Exactly, people think simply having a high speed connection will somehow make this work. It won't.
 

Tak Ne

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
1,233
Stupid move, imo. With ISP's partaking in rampant speed throttling and offering shitty speed tiers all over the nation, game cloud streaming is not a viable nor sustainable business model.

You're just not thinking like a soul-less CEO of a shitty games company or ISP. Gaming deals from ISPs with 60hrs of 'premium' access to Ubi, i'm sure they could arrange a revenue sharing deal. :D
 

Showbiz

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 19, 2010
Messages
1,521
I don't give a fuck what Ubisoft says, they have nothing but contempt for their customers anyways.

Those shitheads could tell me the sun came up today, and I'd still go outside just to make sure.
 

sadsteve

Gawd
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Messages
601
and PC and Console would be able to play together.

Hm, not unless the console players are allowed to have aimbots. Keyboard and mouse almost invariably beat controller players on the twitchy games (assuming players of equal experience).
 

BSmith

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 9, 2017
Messages
1,323
Exactly, people think simply having a high speed connection will somehow make this work. It won't.

The last mile (the local connection) means diddly-squat in the overall connection to a game server. Yep, yep.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2006
Messages
4,064
Who knows? Maybe they have found a way around the speed of light and are keeping quiet about it until the patent comes through.

Do I really need a smiley on this?
Actually they HAVE found a way around the speed of light issue. It is called quantum entanglement. The problem is actually implementing it on a large scale (aka more than a few particles at a time) or outside of a lab.
 

bugleyman

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 27, 2010
Messages
1,227
Bzzzzt! Wrong bar-room-breath! About 133ms to send it around the world, but you still need to get it back. So that makes it 266ms. That is too slow for even a modest twitch player, like my Grandma. :)

Obligatory smiley added for proper perspective.

How so? Round-trip communication between any two points on the globe requires traversing the Earth's circumference once, not twice. And that's assuming the absolute worst-case.

The earth is roughly 25,000 miles in diameter. 25/186 = .134, or roughly 133ms for a round-trip.

Also, I did specify single-player...
 
Last edited:

trick_m0nkey

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 11, 2005
Messages
4,222
How so? Round-trip communication between any two points on the globe requires traversing the Earth's circumference once, not twice. And that's assuming the absolute worst-case.

The earth is roughly 25,000 miles in diameter. 25/186 = .134, or roughly 133ms for a round-trip.

Also, I did specify single-player...

One of the absolute "best case scenerios" is using GCP which uses a global fiberoptic network. If you launch an instance in India and one in North America, you're going to get a return ping at ~250 - 300 ms. And that is far and away the best you're going to get...

Ubi-Soft is retarded. Latency is the problem, not bandwidth. Latency will be a huge problem for 99% of people who do not have the luxury of having direct fiber links. Also, you better believe that there's going to be targeted DDOS attacks to disrupt service for any manner of games if it gets big enough.
 

Angelus897

Gawd
Joined
Jul 26, 2004
Messages
895
I don't know what world he lives in, but here in San Francisco, we still have big chunks of the city that are stuck with a maximum of 3mbps DSL (infrastructure is too old, literally no space to pull new cable).
 

Chimpee

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 6, 2015
Messages
1,683
Besides the latency issue, I think the other issue will be hitting a data cap.
 

BSmith

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 9, 2017
Messages
1,323
Actually they HAVE found a way around the speed of light issue. It is called quantum entanglement. The problem is actually implementing it on a large scale (aka more than a few particles at a time) or outside of a lab.

Yes, I am aware of the science. Now show me the application? See, not there yet. They have not figured it out yet, thus my assertion of a patent claim pending, because if they did figure it out, it would be worth a small fortune to the patent holder.


How so? Round-trip communication between any two points on the globe requires traversing the Earth's circumference once, not twice. And that's assuming the absolute worst-case.

The earth is roughly 25,000 miles in diameter. 25/186 = .134, or roughly 133ms for a round-trip.

Also, I did specify single-player...

Yes bar-room-breath! I tripped over the calculator! My glasses had a smudge on them! The Snickers bar was screaming at me!!!!!

Ok,..i goofed. Thanks for the catch and being a good sport about it. Still 133ms is a lifetime to a good twitch player.
 

NickJames

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 28, 2009
Messages
6,684
With ever increasing fidelity and requests for higher resolutions and framerates, good luck making this work. Sure if game technology was still stuck in early 2005 it might be possible.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2017
Messages
899
How hard is it to comprehend that this will never work.
First of all, any twitch shooter is now a no go.
2nd, they have to rely on the internet infrastructure and ISPs to provide a consistent low latency fiber connection which very very few will have or be able to get to get an OK experience on games that do not require quick input (like racing games).

The target audience capable of an OK experience is just too freaking small, how can they see this as a smart idea???

Like above posters pointed out, a direct fiber connection to a datacenter is still too much lag for a twitch shooter.
Having your own gaming system (with no input lag!!!) would be cheaper in the long run.
 

Bobert

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
204
the-cloud-7dsa3g.jpg
 

tetris42

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Messages
4,518
At first I was super opposed to this, but upon further thought, I realize this is a great excuse for me to catch up on my giant backlog of games and play indie games in the future, since I'm never moving to a streaming model. So if Ubisoft and other AAA companies want to go streaming only, that's fine, there are so many other games I can play, this will only make it easier for me to decide.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2017
Messages
899
At first I was super opposed to this, but upon further thought, I realize this is a great excuse for me to catch up on my giant backlog of games and play indie games in the future, since I'm never moving to a streaming model. So if Ubisoft and other AAA companies want to go streaming only, that's fine, there are so many other games I can play, this will only make it easier for me to decide.

local games for life lol!
 

///AMG

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
3,613
I've been thinking a lot lately about why everyone is moving to the cloud for gaming or trying to. Then I realized if they moved to the cloud they cut out the console licensing fees, cut out the need to physically manufacture, cut out inventory costs, I would bet that with compression technology the overall data transferred for most games will be a lot less than downloading the whole game (they won't even have to send data to patch games anymore) so less cost on data. If they can sell games for $60 on a cloud platform and other costs it will probably net them after considering the cost of the cloud $40? vs the $20 or so now?

Overall I don't think its better for gamers but it is a hell of a lot better for the Developers and Publishers.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2017
Messages
899
I've been thinking a lot lately about why everyone is moving to the cloud for gaming or trying to. Then I realized if they moved to the cloud they cut out the console licensing fees, cut out the need to physically manufacture, cut out inventory costs, I would bet that with compression technology the overall data transferred for most games will be a lot less than downloading the whole game (they won't even have to send data to patch games anymore) so less cost on data. If they can sell games for $60 on a cloud platform and other costs it will probably net them after considering the cost of the cloud $40? vs the $20 or so now?

Overall I don't think its better for gamers but it is a hell of a lot better for the Developers and Publishers.

that's probably why they want it so bad and saying its the future.
What they don't seem to realize is that if everyone hates it and doesn't use it, they won't make any money on it.....
 

J3RK

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 25, 2004
Messages
9,887
that's probably why they want it so bad and saying its the future.
What they don't seem to realize is that if everyone hates it and doesn't use it, they won't make any money on it.....

Unfortunately for us, there are a lot of stupid people out there. There are a lot of stupid people that will buy anything any of the EAs and Ubis and Actis will throw at them no matter how it's packaged. If those people equal enough subscriptions, whether the services actually work or not, that will become normal AAA practice. Not great for anyone with half a brain in their skull. I hope this fails, and fails badly. These moron CEOs who forget where their companies came from and who they were built for could really use a wake-up call. EA was cool once... ...like when they published Archon. :p
 

///AMG

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
3,613
that's probably why they want it so bad and saying its the future.
What they don't seem to realize is that if everyone hates it and doesn't use it, they won't make any money on it.....

I think publishers are fine with that for now. Its important to them to develop the infrastructure and technology on their side for when the technology on the consumer side is ready for cloud streaming instead of being behind the curve they want to get ahead of it.
 
Top