Cloud gaming system reduces latency by speculating on future inputs

Microsoft Research’s ‘DeLorean’ predicts gamers’ next moves

Microsoft Research is working on a new cloud gaming system that aims to reduce network latency by predicting what input players will enter next.

The project, codenamed DeLorean, produces "speculative rendered frames" of potential future outcomes and delivers them to players once the relevant input is identified, according to the abstract. 

So far, players have reportedly noticed far less latency than through other cloud gaming systems, or find that the latency is at an acceptable level.

DeLorean is using Doom 3 and Fable III to test the new technology, with the fast-paced combat providing the ideal environment to demonstrate low latency.

"Cloud gaming – where remote servers perform game execution and rendering on behalf of thin clients that simply send input and display output frames – promises any device the ability to play any game any time," the company writes in the DeLorean abstract. 

"Unfortunately, the reality is that wide-area network latencies are often prohibitive; cellular, Wi-Fi and even wired residential end host round trip times (RTTs) can exceed 100ms, a threshold above which many gamers tend to deem responsiveness unacceptable.

"In this paper, we present DeLorean, a speculative execution system for mobile cloud gaming that is able to mask up to 250ms of network latency."

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