While not a big name in the gaming world, the Redmond giant is about to revolutionize cloud gaming by predicting the next move of every gamer, fact that will reduce lag considerably, if not kill it altogether.
Wittily named after the car from Back to the Future, Microsoft Research’s cloud gaming system streams actions before gamers even get to make them. The whole idea of cloud gaming is very attractive, but has the potential of killing the hardware industry. Basically, the processing power needed for playing games would be available online, on a remote server, while gamers would keep a small box to which the games are streamed under their TV, everything for a small monthly subscription.
DeLorean is a piece of software that calculates all the possible outcomes of a situation the gamer is in, and selects the most probable ones. By the time the gamer decides what to do next, the frames are already streamed to his gaming box.
Streaming all the possible outcomes requires quite a bit of bandwidth, and this limitation makes it obvious that cloud gaming isn’t for everyone. More precisely, the DeLorean software leads to an increase in bandwidth from 1.5 to 4.5 times greater than when using a regular setup.
Things get even more difficult in the context of multiplayer games. More people equates to more unpredictable outcomes, more calculations and even more bandwidth consumed for streaming everything. In games where there’s no clear path that needs to be followed, humans can always do something unexpected.
The other bad news is that this might be nothing more than just an experiment, which means that it’s not certain if Microsoft will ever implement the DeLorean software in Xbox One. On the upside, doing so would enable gamers to run on this console games made for Xbox 360 or even the original Xbox, fact that’s not currently possible. Sony’s PlayStation Now, on the other hand, enables PS4 users to play PS3 games that are streamed from the company’s servers.
Games such as Forza 5 or Titanfall already use dedicated Xbox Live servers to reduce the payload on the console itself, but the DeLorean software could take this to a whole new level. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft is considering making this cloud gaming system a reality.
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