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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Cloud Games + Fiber vs. Physical/Downloaded Games

 

What is better?

Native no matter what 30 81.08%
 
Fiber + Cloud 2 5.41%
 
I don't have Fiber so my ... 5 13.51%
 
Total:37

I sort of brought this up in another thread, but would like a wider discussion, particularly with comments from those of you that have experienced really good internet speeds and done cloud gaming. The question I have is this: Is it a better experience to play games natively, even if on weaker hardware that can't take advantage of the game, or, if you have Fiber is it better to play on the cloud?

I have a Switch, but am getting Fiber next week (will be 500g upload/download and I may go more in the future). I tried Control earlier with my current internet (Spectrum, capping at 90 something gbs download and 14 gbs download) and I had no noticeable lag, but that was just a demo. With Fiber my speeds should be at least 4-5 times faster, so I'm wanting to know if I should buy:

-AAA third party games on my PC (less portable and convenient) or buy them, if available, as cloud games on Switch (more portable and convenient). Ideally I'd like whichever plays and looks better. Obviously, if you have bad internet then the choice is simple, but I'm really wanting to hear from people who have blazing fast internet and have tried cloud gaming.

Specifically, I'm curious if doing cloud KH 1-3 on my Switch with fast internet would be just as good looking/playing as if I bought it on PC (I have an RTX2080). If it plays just as nicely, I'd prefer Switch for convenience and so my family can more easily watch. Please discuss below, and don't hesitate to nerd out on your reasonings as I'd like a better understanding of this topic!



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As a personal rule, I would never buy games that are only available on the cloud. The reason? If the servers go down, you lose everything. Not only do you lose the game and but the saves, the progress, etc. Where as on a local game, it doesn't matter if the servers die or anything like that, you can keep playing the game and not lose any progress.

Imo, no one should be buying any games that are cloud exclusive including the cloud versions on the Switch. You don't know when SE will one day decide to pull the plug and then what? You lost your game and progress. It's the ultimate form of not owning the product that you paid for but instead, you just get the privilege of accessing it until the Company feels like pulling the plug.

The best way to use cloud is with a Hybrid setup such as with Steam + GeForce Now. You buy the game and it will be on Steam and then you get an Option to use GeForce Now as a cloud streaming service. So if one day Nvidia decides to kill it's GeForce now service, you still have all your progress and the game itself as a part of your steam library.

Last edited by Captain_Yuri - on 10 October 2021

             

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Captain_Yuri said:

As a personal rule, I would never buy games that are only available on the cloud. The reason? If the servers go down, you lose everything. Not only do you lose the game and but the saves, the progress, etc. Where as on a local game, it doesn't matter if the servers die or anything like that, you can keep playing the game and not lose any progress.

Imo, no one should be buying any games that are cloud exclusive including the cloud versions on the Switch. You don't know when SE will one day decide to pull the plug and then what? You lost your game and progress. It's the ultimate form of not owning the product that you paid for but instead, you just get the privilege of accessing it until the Company feels like pulling the plug.

The best way to use cloud is with a Hybrid setup such as with Steam + GeForce Now. You buy the game and it will be on Steam and then you get an Option to use GeForce Now as a cloud streaming service. So if one day Nvidia decides to kill it's GeForce now service, you still have all your progress and the game itself as a part of your steam library.

And that's fine, but obviously I made this thread from the perspective that I don't care about ownership and I simply want to know if I can play Switch cloud version and have the same experience as a high-end pc version if my internet makes it lag-free. For 99% of games I play, I will only ever play them once. Ones I feel I will replay I'll buy, but they are few. I understand ownership is important to many for various reasons, but it isn't for me and isn't what this thread is meant to discuss.



I don't have fiber, but do know a bit about internet infrastructure. Especially the part of it being bound by the speed of light, or rather 70% of that (fibre cable). If you don't live close to a data center, it's never going to be all that great.

When it comes to weaker hardware it's not all that clear cut though.

The cloud can actually have lower latency than a game struggling to reach 30 fps on weaker hardware. Plenty PS3 / 360 30 fps games were measured in the 120 to 150ms input latency range. Good hardware in the cloud can reduce that a lot so it's still faster with the added round trip and image compression.

The cloud can also provide a more stable, stutter free experience than weaker hardware. However internet jitter can add stutters and pixelation. It's not just about how fast your internet is, you need a stable path to the server with enough overhead (ie not too many people competing for bandwidth) to deliver a stable picture.

Load times can also be lower in the cloud, and only the new consoles and PC with nvme SSD can beat Cloud loading times.


So, yes, cloud gaming on Switch can give you a better experience than running the game locally on Switch. Latency, Image quality, loading times can all be better than running a 3rd party port struggling to maintain 30 fps.

However, on good hardware, the cloud will always be behind. MS just updated xCloud to run on Series X hardware. Which means, at best, it will be able to match Series X performance at home, with lower image quality (compression) and added latency (round trip to server). Series S might benefit from xCloud, running the games at Series X settings.



I have Google Fiber. No cloud game is allowed in this house. Physical games on real hardware only.



Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

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Leynos said:

I have Google Fiber. No cloud game is allowed in this house. Physical games on real hardware only.

What about FS2020? It's a hybrid, running locally yet fetching all the data from the cloud.

It's an interesting case actually, since bandwidth requirements for running at home can easily exceed bandwidth requirements for running the entire game in the cloud. I've measured well over 100 mbps data usage while flying over London on my laptop. On high end hardware you can increase the draw distance beyond the current max in the config files (Next patch will also allow to do it in the UI) and double the draw distance also means double the bandwidth needed to fetch the data.

Actually got my estimates for a short flight over London right here

PG Data (total downloaded, physical RAM used / VRAM used, fps, average mbps needed)
Terrain 800 5.25 GiB 14.4 / 4.5 11 fps 179 mbps
Terrain 400 3.45 GiB 15.1 / 4.1 14 fps 118 mbps
Terrain 200 2.04 GiB 12.3 / 3.5 22 fps 70 mbps
Terrain 100 1.21 GiB 10.6 / 3.7 26 fps 41 mbps
Terrain 50 0.60 GiB 9.9 / 3.5 33 fps 20 mbps

Terrain 200 is the current max (Ultra settings) yet you can increase to whatever your system can handle. As you can see, my laptop struggles plenty with London. Yet at terrain 100, bandwidth already exceeds 4K60 requirements. Even though you might have 1 gbps internet. getting a sustained 180mbps without jitter is still a much bigger ask than 35 mbps for 4K60 HDR.

If the game would run entirely in the cloud, you would have less pop in and a more stable picture. Latency isn't all that relevant for a flight sim. However if it's running in the cloud, you won't have access to usercfg.opt to increase terrain distance beyond the UI maximum. Next patch should increase the limit to 400 in the UI, which makes running the game from the cloud more interesting. Draw distance >>> latency in flight sims. And tbh, the picture FS2020 provides already looks like it was compressed due to how it handles TAA.

For FS2020 it makes more sense to run the game in the cloud. Always access to the latest data at the lowest latency. It's not just the terrain the game gets from the cloud, live weather, live traffic, ATC voices, multiplayer, the game literally talks to a dozen different servers while flying. All can have hick-ups and add stutter.



I just played a bunch of Saturn and Dreamcast games today. It was so nice to put in a game and just play. No updates. No signing in. I just want ownership and no BS



Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

Cloud gaming won't ever overcome the issue of dreadful input lag so its an instant write off for me.



Just played Control demo on the Switch OLED just to say how it looks/plays .... it is shockingly good. Honestly I don't notice the difference much it felt like a game running locally. 



If you can stream without issue and don't care about ownership, I'm not sure what the reservation is then?
I haven't tried game streaming myself, but I'd do it if it worked.