Jump to content
rllmuk
jon_cybernet

Antstream - It's Netflix for Games!

Recommended Posts

8 hours ago, dave7g said:

I thought it was a downloadable service. Not had much luck with other streaming game platforms, just laggy messes. 

 

I hope it works out for you but I'd need a trial to make sure it's not like the others.

 

It is not like the others!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I don't have any scientific stats or anything yet, but I watched the testing department do a side-by-side test of our system, against PS Now, using the same game, a few weeks back, and Antstream was noticeably less laggy. 

Our system didn't have any perceptible lag at all in fact, whereas PS Now stalled at some points and kicked them out of the game!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, JPickford said:

How far from the server?

The servers were in Germany or the Netherlands (I can't remember - @jon_cybernet?), I believe, and we were in London. 

When we launch we will have local servers for each market we launch in. 

I played a game yesterday from London using our US servers, and again the lag was not noticeable. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me Uridium would be the test. If you can get that running lag free then you can do anything. I still think it’s incredibly brave having that game as your highlighted title!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took part in the test and did get some noticeable lag, but then I also have a flaky internet connection. It wasn't game breaking levels, but there was a difference in responsiveness between playing Joust and Speedball 2 on Antstream, then going downstairs and playing the the 360 and Megadrive versions. But that's something I imagine can always be improved incrementally over time.

 

I did play Uridium, and it wasn't actually any worse than playing it on the C64 mini, so if you're familiar with that system that's about the level of input delay.

 

Technical issues aside, there is something strangely magical about having all these old games in a Netflix style browser, I think good curation and community aspects (weekly leaderboards and challenges, stuff like that) could really make the service.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, JPickford said:

Lag is just a fundamental fact of distance.  There's no getting around it and no point denying it or saying it isn't noticeable.   Some won't notice but the games won't feel like they did which I think will do them a disservice.

 

Yeah, this is definitely one of those "believe it when I see it" moments for me.  I really hope you guys have managed to reduce the impact of the lag so that it's a non-issue for the majority of games/gamers, but I'll be wanting to try before I buy, certainly.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, JPickford said:

Lag is just a fundamental fact of distance.  There's no getting around it and no point denying it or saying it isn't noticeable.   Some won't notice but the games won't feel like they did which I think will do them a disservice.

 

It's not just distance, either. Even local streaming like the PS3/4's remote play, or Steam's local streaming client, has noticable lag, just because the data is being routed through a few too many junctions before it gets onto your screen. More still if it's wireless. So even if you live next to your ISP's data centre, and you're plugged directly into your router, you're gonna get lag.

 

Whether it's bad enough to be off-putting depends on the game, on the player and a lot of other things, but it will always be there. I specifically selected my current TV on the basis of its low input lag, disregarding all other concerns (PQ, features) because I notice latency, especially in older games.

 

Best of luck with it, though. I hope it's successful!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You mention esports and competitive gaming. Isn't lag going to be a hurdle there? Even if you reduce it to something I may not notice, aren't these pro gamer types incredibly anal about any sort of lag at all, even buying special mice and stuff to reduce lag on a computer sitting in front of them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is reading a bit like dragons den when someone has a great idea then the dragons rip it to shreds! 

  • Upvote 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must say - having it streaming might be a bit of a dealbreaker for me too. There's noticeable lag even on Steam Link, so over the internet? No matter how good your technology it won't be lag free. When you add in TV lag and input lag too, it's going to be substantial compared to the original consoles/computers.

 

How badly the lag affects the games though, dunno.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, carlospie said:

This is reading a bit like dragons den when someone has a great idea then the dragons rip it to shreds! 

That's the idea! We are looking for feedback from people like you (or should I say, "us", as Jon and myself have been members here since day one, and Edge forum before that - so we know full well what to expect!) who would be our target audience.

Of course, with streaming, lag is always a major factor. But the key is whether it is noticeable. As some of you have mentioned we've done a few focus group tests, and feedback varied from "no lag at all" to "just enough lag to ruin the fun". Since then we've put a lot of resources into improving the situation, including hiring engineers who are at the top of their game when it comes to building streaming services. We're confident that when we launch we're going to be able to provide an experience where lag isn't a limiting factor. 

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hang on. Can't you have it so it downloads the ROM locally so the player doesn't experience any lag, and then stream the video from the player? 

 

Alternatively download the ROM and capture the inputs to stream the spectator version from your servers?

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Netflix allows you to download stuff for later viewing if you can't get online. C64 games are what, about 100 kb? Surely it would save a fortune having downloads rather than streaming them?

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Might be a nightmare in licencing it for local play rather then streaming. 

 

Good idea though.  I look forward to giving it a whirl. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, rafaqat said:

Might be a nightmare in licencing it for local play rather then streaming. 

 

Good idea though.  I look forward to giving it a whirl. Good luck!

Nothing stopping the client logging the same information as it would be if streaming. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, dave7g said:

Netflix allows you to download stuff for later viewing if you can't get online. C64 games are what, about 100 kb? Surely it would save a fortune having downloads rather than streaming them?

 

True, but all Netflix needs to keep locally is "the video player". Here, you'd need every emulator necessary, and have it configured to work with your system/controller/resolution/etc.

 

I can see *why* this is streaming, just not convinced it's as lag-free as claimed!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, deKay said:

I can see *why* this is streaming, just not convinced it's as lag-free as claimed!

 

I'm sure the guys have done their homework.  The entire success of the platform rests on the games being fully playable and not noticeably laggy.  They wouldn't have got this far if it didn't work.


Can't wait to try it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, catinthehat said:

 

I'm sure the guys have done their homework.  The entire success of the platform rests on the games being fully playable and not noticeably laggy.  They wouldn't have got this far if it didn't work.


Can't wait to try it.

 

 

Like every other streaming system.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds pretty neat - I hope your guys are successful! :) 

 

Besides the lag, I wonder how much data usage is involved in streaming a game? I can get protective over my remaining MBs... ;) 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah streaming works very well. PS Now lets you stream PS4 games which are totally stable with no noticeable drop in quality. They perform perfectly in other words, but there is still perceptible lag no matter how good it is. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Emulators aren't normally that big in terms of file size anyway.

 

The idea is a good one, but the most appealing part - that of being able to play on my commute and continue at home - isn't going to work for me.  I have never been on a train journey with a stable connection, anywhere in the world, and the simple technology of LTE connections means that as soon as you start travelling more than 50 km/h you will be getting significant lag.  Even the 5G connections I've been working with have latency increases.  That's not to mention lack of coverage on some railway lines, even main commuter areas.

 

A shame since, as I said, it's a good idea - but since the only place I can see it working is the place I have the most to play anyway, I'll be waiting and seeing others' experiences.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, OogyBoogy said:

Is this service available worldwide?

I'm guessing uk, but I'm purely basing that on the fact Uridium is displayed so prominently (I tend to find that most 8-bit home computer stuff is an incredibly tough sell abroad).

 

It might also be a vote of confidence in the quality of the service because if you're going to see lag then that's exactly the sort of game that will highlight it.

 

Really interested to see how this pans out because it has the potential to be everything I wanted games room to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, strider said:

I'm guessing uk, but I'm purely basing that on the fact Uridium is displayed so prominently (I tend to find that most 8-bit home computer stuff is an incredibly tough sell abroad).

 

It might also be a vote of confidence in the quality of the service because if you're going to see lag then that's exactly the sort of game that will highlight it.

 

Really interested to see how this pans out because it has the potential to be everything I wanted games room to be.

Actually we are planning on a worldwide launch. At the moment the games we're showing do skew heavily towards the UK but we have a whole load more licensed or pending which we aren't quite ready to announce yet. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Anne Summers said:

Actually we are planning on a worldwide launch. At the moment the games we're showing do skew heavily towards the UK but we have a whole load more licensed or pending which we aren't quite ready to announce yet. 

I'd lead with a worldwide recognisable console game in that case or an arcade game as they have worldwide appeal and even if you never played the original you'll have most likely owned a home conversion of it.

 

It might be different for a streaming service but there are very few 8-bit home computer games that sell retro magazines these days. Tetris is the first we've run in nearly three years and that's mainly because it's pretty much recognised by everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.