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The Tiny Console Killers Taking On the PS4 and Xbox 720 349

An anonymous reader writes "As the next generation of consoles looms, we've seen a growing trend towards low price, compact alternatives such as the Ouya and GameStick, many of which run on the Android mobile platform. But this article on the trend raises a very good point: through the use of cloud computing and game streaming technology, it's entirely possible these machines will be able to keep pace with the powerhouse technology inside the Sony PS4 and Microsoft Xbox 720, and perhaps even overtake them. After all, if these little boxes can simply stream from powerful servers, how can the stalwarts of gaming keep up?"
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The Tiny Console Killers Taking On the PS4 and Xbox 720

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  • Re:latency (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:56PM (#42527909) Journal
    The sad thing about latency is the networking bunch may do their jobs fairly well but the input/output hardware and software people often don't or can't.

    So each router hop on the internet might only take 1ms or less whereas a mouse button click or keyboard key press might take 16 milliseconds (debouncing etc) and a crap TV might take another 16-50 milliseconds or even more.

    Of course if you're unlucky to be an ocean or two away from the servers your ping goes up by 200 milliseconds or more. But if you're not, don't be surprised how little latency might be added by the network and server.

    For instance my ping to is coming back within 5 milliseconds.

    But if the game server and client bunch leave Nagling on that often adds another semi-random 200+ milliseconds. I personally think Nagling belongs in the past and no longer should be enabled by default - causes more problems than it solves. It is a kludge that does something at the network layer that should more properly be done at the application layer.
  • Re:Wrong (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @12:41AM (#42528273)


    The "winner" of at least the last three console wars was the cheapest console.

    The Wii outsold the Xbox 360 and the PS3. At some points it was outselling them *combined*, until Microsoft and Sony dropped their prices.

    The PS2 outsold the Gamecube, Xbox and Dreamcast, which is generally credited to a) it being a cheaper DVD player than many dedicated DVD players, b) massive third-party support, itself caused by c) its low price.

    The PS1 outsold the N64 and Saturn. Even though the N64 was slightly cheaper, it was also two years late, and had lower TCO since the games were CD-based, not cartridge-based. And don't even bring up the 3DO.

    Ouya, Gamestick, Piston, Shield, and all the other microconsoles... I'm not worried that the graphics will hold them back (well, maybe Gamestick). The thing that's more likely to keep them from succeeding is a small game library. Ouya is close enough to many common Android tablets that it should be fine. Shield seems almost like a fancy demo for Nvidia's new hardware, so I doubt they'd panic if it flops. Piston (and the other Steamboxen) have one publisher behind them, which is at least enough to survive in the marketplace (ain't that right, Nintendo?).

  • Re:latency (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @02:09AM (#42528733) Journal
    I said: "EACH router hop on the internet might only take 1ms"
    And: "my ping to is coming back within 5 milliseconds."

    So go figure what fantasy world I live in. Seems pretty real to me. Not everyone uses AOL or whatever you are using.

    See also:
    Tracing route to
    over a maximum of 30 hops:

        1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms redacted
        2 <1 ms 1 ms 1 ms redacted
        3 2 ms 2 ms 2 ms redacted
        4 2 ms 2 ms 2 ms redacted
        5 2 ms 2 ms 2 ms
        6 2 ms 1 ms 1 ms
        7 3 ms 5 ms 4 ms
        8 8 ms 7 ms 8 ms
        9 4 ms 4 ms 3 ms
      10 4 ms 4 ms 4 ms
      11 4 ms 5 ms 5 ms
      12 5 ms x 5 ms
      13 x x x Request timed out.
      14 5 ms 5 ms 4 ms

    Trace complete.

    You can try that yourself and see the ping differences between hops, there will be some anomalies as in mine due to asymmetric routing (packets taking a different path back). Your first hop might be high latency if you are using a 56k or ADSL modem, but the other hops might only have a diff of a few milliseconds.
  • Re:latency (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:42AM (#42529219)

    The closest IP to your endpoint which you listed is Which is located in Australia (South Brisbane specifically) according to whois records.
    I just ran a traceroute from the Primus Telecom looking glass server in Brisbane, and you're topping 140ms. A trace from Telstra's server in Melbourne shows 134ms right now.

    I'm not familiar with all the companies involved who show up in your specific trace path, but I have a suspicion your ISP has a direct peering circuit with Google reserved just for Google-bound traffic. Try popping some traces to blizzard's servers, etc. and see how they stack up.

    Point being that the trace you posted is highly abnormal and not what most people experience over the general internet. If these companies have any hope of "taking on" the big console makers they are going to have to put a shitload of money into localized servers all over the planet, and probably will have to setup direct peering relationships with ISP's as well. That's not cheap, so unless they are planning on only competing in dense population areas, I just don't see this working out well for them.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein