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Microsoft Details ‘DeLorean’ Tech Aimed At Lag-Free Cloud Gaming

Amblin Entertainment

Microsoft has recently detailed its plans for lag-free cloud gaming, and while its tech is still in the experimental phase, it could change the way developers and publishers think about using the cloud in their games.

TechCrunch cites a report from Microsoft’s research team, revealing that Microsoft’s new tech, called “DeLorean,” is a “speculative execution engine” that potentially allows Microsoft to travel through time deliver completely lag-free gaming experiences using only cloud servers, bypassing all of the places between Microsoft’s Azure servers and the player’s device where latency may be an issue.

The report shows that a group of people were asked to play Doom 3 and Fable 3 on both a home console and the cloud server using DeLorean with 250 milliseconds of latency and report their findings. The subjects could not tell any difference between the two methods, meaning that DeLorean was able to stream the game from the server at the same quality as a console could read a disc. That’s madness.

How exactly is DeLorean able to provide that kind of lag free experience? Microsoft’s development team has implemented something called the “speculative descriptor.” Typically, there’s a bit of latency between when a person inputs a selection and that response happens when streaming a game. DeLorean removes the gap by formulating a potential outcome for you from samples of the most likely actions. Video is then sent out ahead of time, and as the game catches up, you’ll see your actions performed in what appears to be (nearly) real time.

So what’s the problem? Bandwidth, as Microsoft explains that DeLorean is chewing up far more than other streaming services. All that would mean is the need for a faster connection, but with console-quality gameplay coming from a cloud server investing in faster Internet would be totally worth it.

Could you imagine a world where games could be streamed lag-free from a cloud server? We’d be able to play any game we wanted, at any time, just by selecting it and pressing Start. Of course this would potentially turn video games into a fully subscription-based hobby, but a small fee for the ability to play a ton of games a la the small fee for Netflix would be 100 percent worth it in our eyes. We’re interested to see what Microsoft can do with DeLorean in the future, but we’re not holding our breath for a soon-to-come reveal. We’ll have to travel through time to get it soon. Where’s Doc Brown when you need him?

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