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Your move, sucker! Microsoft tests cloud gaming system that cuts through network lag

Back to the future with DeLorean software

DeLorean from Back to the Future 3

Microsoft researchers have developed software that, they say, cuts through network delay issues in cloud gaming systems.

The tech, dubbed "DeLorean", speculates what a gamer will do next, renders those frames and then pushes them out to the client "one entire RTT [round-trip delay time] ahead of time".

Redmond's researchers said that the software combined future input prediction, state space subsampling and time shifting, compensation for the wrong prediction and bandwidth compression to mask up to 250ms of network latency that hampers cloud gamers.

They noted that wide-area network latencies were a big nuisance for playing games online - be it via mobile or wireless services.

Microsoft said it tested the speculation techniques it had built into DeLorean by using "twitch-based first person shooter" Doom 3 and action role play game Fable 3.

Researchers at the company concluded that their system was preferred by gamers when compared with "traditional thin-client gaming where the network RTT is fully visible".

They claimed that DeLorean mimicked gamer movements "across a low-latency network."

But Microsoft's eggheads admitted that "additional efforts to mitigate network latency for multiplayer games" were needed.

Redmond's 14-page research paper, DeLorean: Using Speculation to Enable Low-Letency Continuous Interaction for Cloud Gaming can be viewed here. ®