Microsoft DeLorean Kills Streaming Game Lag By Predicting Your Next Move

Microsoft DeLorean Kills Streaming Game Lag By Predicting Your Next Move

Streaming video games could be so clutch, if it wasn't for maddening lag time. Microsoft researchers have a solution in DeLorean, a "speculative execution system" that predicts what you'll do next and shows you the most likely result — before you've even mashed a single button.

In a research paper published this week, the Microsoft Research team explained that DeLorean delivers a player's most likely moves ahead of time, loading the video response in advance based on how previous players interact with the game. From the research paper:

DeLorean produces speculative rendered frames of future possible outcomes, delivering them to the client one entire RTT [round-trip time, the time it takes for an input to reach the server and return a response] ahead of time; clients perceive no latency. To achieve this, DeLorean combines: 1) future input prediction; 2) state space subsampling and time shifting; 3) misprediction compensation; and 4) bandwidth compression.

It works astoundingly well: In testing with Doom 3 and Fable 3, DeLorean was able to mask a round-trip time of up to 250 milliseconds, a lag time that would usually make for an utterly unplayable game. Players weren't able to discern a difference between local gameplay and the DeLorean-powered cloud system.

There's a drawback, though: DeLorean's data-heavy setup can send nearly five times as much information than a simple real-time gaming stream. That kind of load would require a seriously beefy connection. Suffice it to say that DeLorean probably won't be coming to your Xbox in the immediate future — but if it does, we'll actually be playing games in the future. [Microsoft Research via TechCrunch]

Republished from Gizmodo


    Hahaha, that's funny. See, here in Australia we can't play games we actually have installed in multiplayer without that much lag. We don't have Google Fibre or 100 mb/s internet. We have 3G and Dial-Up. It's just a tiny bit different.

    There’s a drawback, though: DeLorean’s data-heavy setup can send nearly five times as much information than a simple real-time gaming stream. That kind of load would require a seriously beefy connection.

    Ah okay that's all I needed to know.


      Turns out it's a slang word for "really good", or performing well under pressure. Like "fetch", but it actually happened.

    Roll on, future, roll on. Your dust tastes like ones and zeros.

    Talked to someone about the internet, turns out living in a country where only 20% of the country is populated to get nation wide internet is not ECONOMICALLY WORTHY, because to get the whole CONTINENT internet, you would need to raise taxes to pay the interest etcetc. I mean to use the internet here means slower speeds than most countries & lags that overseas players might use sneak attacks on players. Man I hate internet news without bringing info about how slow the internet is in aus

      Why are we running internet to the vast unpopulated areas of the country?

      Stage 1. Get Broadband to the major population centers
      Stage 2. Extend to the lower population centers
      Stage 3, Roll out to the growing population centers
      Stage 4. Roll out to the sparse population centers
      Stage 5. Roll out to the final gaps.

      It would suck being in stage 5 areas but, all the people in the earlier stages have paid for you. Now my method is completely unfair, but I feel it's realistic.

        Yes, start the money rolling in. They are servicing small little towns where even if everyone signed up, is only a drop in the bucket. Roll through the suburbs, and business areas and cut the copper. Everyone signs up, dollars start rolling in and you can tell everyone to shut the **** up about how much it costs because you are MAKING the money that is used to pay for it.

        Except that stage 5 areas are currently major population hubs. haha

    This sounds pretty much like what they already do for lag compensation in multi-player games. The only real difference is that in a single-player game, the likelihood of the same action being performed at any time is a lot higher than in a somewhat randomised multi-player game. In fact, I'd hazard a guess that the DeLorean system couldn't be used for anything that has any networking since it becomes too unpredictable, especially since you have to handle both the player's actions and the actions of any other players in the game.

    I agree, I think the system is only accurate given in a closed system with limited variables.

    - It knows exactly what the players opposition (AI) and environment will do,
    - It has an idea of what the player is doing from previous actions (both from previous engagements and from the last known command input).

    In the case where limited information is provided. e.g. greater procedural generation of the environment, smarter and more adaptive AI (Alien isolation??) and multiplayer, the possible actions from the player increases dramatically and the probability predicting the correct action decreases as well. Its like a chess computer, but now it has the predict the exact move as opposed to predicting an end outcome...

    An interesting experiment would be the test the system against one of those professional Starcraft players in Korea whom would enter a large amount of inputs per minute many of which do not seem to have an immediate affect on the game. Last I checked neither Fable 3 or Doom 3 would be considered fast paced twitch gameplay.

    So it trades bandwidth for improved apparent latency?

    So this is essentially using the AI system Forza 5 on X1 already has (AI based on what you as a player are likely to do) but uses the AI in tandem with you. Honestly it could work, at the beginning of the match everybody downloads an AI profile of every other player and plays against the AI instead, and when the next lot of data arrives adjust the AI's tactics and position to suit.

    But in the real world it's useless where I'm charged by the GB for data and using 5 times as much to compensate for non-localised servers seems like Microsoft shifting the responsibility away from themselves and onto the clients...

    "Microsoft Research was able to predict with 92% certainty when one player was about send a voice message about another player's mother and set aside necessary bandwidth for the communication to ensure there was minimal delay.

    The study involving players also suggested that while there was less of a delay in getting the message across, there was not enough bandwidth to transmit a photo of the player's mother, whose weight was the subject of a physics study"

    I should give online gaming a try again. I tried Unreal Tournament 2004 a few weeks ago and it was so bad I quit.

      I find the unreal torny community quite friendly. What country did server you play on?

        Rather, I should say that I quit because the lag was terrible. Shoulda mentioned that earlier :B. There was about a second of lag. My internet was running alright and it was one of the more popular servers (so I would assume, able to cope with me and the 9 others playing at the same time

    Nice one microsoft, way to further ruin all internet searches containing 'DeLorean' with this rubbish (after some band started clogging up search results already)

    This will take 1.21 Jiggabytes per game session.

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