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AMD Radeon Sky Shines Down on Gamescom Attendees

By - Source: AMD | B 13 comments

AMD's cloud gaming initiative made an appearance at Gamescom this week.

Back in March during GDC 2013, AMD revealed that it entered the cloud gaming platform market with the launch of its Radeon Sky passively cooled graphics cards for cloud gaming servers. They're built from the ground up on the company's Graphics Core Next architecture, and powered by RapidFire, PowerTune and Full DirectX 11.1. These cards include the dual-slot, dual-GPU (Tahiti) Radeon Sky 900, the dual-slot (Tahiti) Radeon Sky 700 and the single-slot (Pitcaim) Radeon Sky 500, all three of which are capable of supporting up to six HD game streams at once.

Since then AMD's cloud gaming initiative has popped up at several conventions including E3 2013 in June and most recently Gamescom. The company is currently demonstrating how streamed games such as Crysis 3, Deus Ex Human Revolution and other recent games can run on a tablet at maximum settings using the Radeon Sky 700 graphics card and CiiNOW's Cumulus technology.

"It’s all about maximizing existing infrastructure and resources," AMD said in its blog. "AMD understands what gamers want in a great playing experience – great performance, amazing quality and virtually no latency. If you are attending gamescom, be sure to stop by the AMD booth and give cloud gaming a try. Let us know how it transforms your game play style."

Meanwhile, CiiNOW CEO and co-founder Ron Haberman reports that multiplayer gaming on CiiNOW's Cloud Gaming network has lower latency than playing a game locally on an Xbox 360. Why? He explains that the game experience is no longer tied to the level of the person with the worst connection. The network is a closed delivery loop: each player’s sessions are connected to one another in the data center. As an example, streaming Borderlands on Xbox 360 via CiiNOW Cumulus Cloud Gaming tech had 25 percent less latency than if playing locally instead.

"CiiNOW’s latency findings are significant for another reason; they have been, and will continue to be, a primary factor in service provider and cable operator’s selection of CiiNOW over other Cloud Gaming technology companies," he said.

AMD and CiiNOW first revealed their cloud gaming solution during CES 2013 in January. They streamed Dishonored, Dragon Age 2 and other "console-class" titles to a screened device of the player's choice: tablet, desktop or notebook. Radeon Sky wasn't actually officially introduced until two months later.

"Cloud gaming is soaring to new heights. New AMD Radeon Sky Series graphics cards and AMD RapidFire Technology bring the full AMD Radeon gaming experience to the cloud," AMD said. "With consideration for performance, quality and latency, AMD Radeon Sky Series with AMD RapidFire technology helps enable cloud gaming service companies to stream PC and console-quality gaming experiences to any device."

For more information about AMD's cloud gaming solution, the Radeon Sky Series, head here.

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  • 0 Hide
    beta212 , August 23, 2013 3:01 AM
    Imagine playing crysis3 on a tablet... They need to get a product out(on time) ,can't wait! But still, how does this translate into savings for us? Is cloud gaming going to be expensive?
  • 6 Hide
    bustapr , August 23, 2013 4:39 AM
    "As an example, streaming Borderlands on Xbox 360 via CiiNOW Cumulus Cloud Gaming tech had 25 percent less latency than if playing locally instead."

    im having an aneurism here. how exactly does playing a console locally have more latency than streaming that same console using the cloud(which depends entirely on internet connection)? the console may have its own latency, but with cloud youd have that same consoles latency + the latency of the cloud(or closed delivery loop thing). it just doesnt add up, unless Im missing something.
  • 4 Hide
    SchizoFrog , August 23, 2013 4:43 AM
    Cloud gaming is going to be SUPER EXPENSIVE with mobile data plans unless you are lucky enough to be able to get an unlimited contract. Even then many people won't be able to gain sufficient bandwidth for a smooth HD gaming experience.

    Cloud computing is the way things will go as it is an extension of networks that businesses have been using for decades. It is simply cheaper and more efficient to have the Server hardware do all the work and store the info and then the end users use hardware that is just good enough to output.

    We are getting there but we are still years, maybe a couple of decades away from it actually being a viable option for the mainstream.
  • 1 Hide
    __Miguel_ , August 23, 2013 6:07 AM
    @SchizoFrog: Having just recently experienced how "good" "unlimited" mobile data plans are (even 4G ones), with very high ping values (25ms+ base, 100ms+ average, 3000ms+ semi-frequently, with severe TS in the mix, artificially capping download speeds to sub-100KBps), "it will take a couple of decades" sounds about right.

    Right now, regular, non-dedicated, wireless connections are completely incapable of delivering high speeds with decent ping times to a lot of people at the same time, and should only be used when 1) there is no other alternative available or 2) you don't need either high speed or low latency (from my experience, you can't have both in a wireless connection, especially when you start adding more users). It's just not there yet.
  • 0 Hide
    mrface , August 23, 2013 6:18 AM
    @bustapr; cloud gaming stems obviously from cloud computing which is highly scalable(the main pro's of running a cloud) so the cloud latency is quite neglible. Scalability of resources at a server or remote level results in less processing power on the user end, the big downside(besides security) of any cloud format/platform is always going to be network latency on the user end, not resource latency on the cloud end. Just think of it as a highly improved version of running dummy terminals with a mainframe backbone; multiple users accessing the same set of resources that scales on demand to each specific user set or used resource set, resulting in lower end machines(or in some cases even tablets/phones) at said user level.

    @SchizoFrog With that being said above, cloud platforms are priced per usage of resources so a cloud gaming platform would only rely on you paying for what resources used. Again a plus of being "part" of a cloud solution. Your main cost would then again be your network connection(albeit satellite, cable, etc.) and not having to pay the front for hardware. This is why cloud computing is more cost effective for such demanding tasks(gaming, data processing, et. al.) The user pays per resource used and the network connections, instead of dropping a huge chunk of front end money on a machine, and then the connection. All the while never needing to update hardware ever few years as the hardware scales up and down on usage.
  • 0 Hide
    mrface , August 23, 2013 6:44 AM
    @bustapr; cloud gaming stems obviously from cloud computing which is highly scalable(the main pro's of running a cloud) so the cloud latency is quite neglible. Scalability of resources at a server or remote level results in less processing power on the user end, the big downside(besides security) of any cloud format/platform is always going to be network latency on the user end, not resource latency on the cloud end. Just think of it as a highly improved version of running dummy terminals with a mainframe backbone; multiple users accessing the same set of resources that scales on demand to each specific user set or used resource set, resulting in lower end machines(or in some cases even tablets/phones) at said user level.

    @SchizoFrog With that being said above, cloud platforms are priced per usage of resources so a cloud gaming platform would only rely on you paying for what resources used. Again a plus of being "part" of a cloud solution. Your main cost would then again be your network connection(albeit satellite, cable, etc.) and not having to pay the front for hardware. This is why cloud computing is more cost effective for such demanding tasks(gaming, data processing, et. al.) The user pays per resource used and the network connections, instead of dropping a huge chunk of front end money on a machine, and then the connection. All the while never needing to update hardware ever few years as the hardware scales up and down on usage.
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , August 23, 2013 6:57 AM
    easy explination for the latency reported. go someplace with a killer ping rate with a fiberoptic connection and close to the server, then sompare to a console either running really hot or in an area with alot of rf interferance... viola the cloud gaming looks much better by comparison
  • 0 Hide
    childofthekorn , August 23, 2013 8:25 AM
    Quote:
    "As an example, streaming Borderlands on Xbox 360 via CiiNOW Cumulus Cloud Gaming tech had 25 percent less latency than if playing locally instead."

    im having an aneurism here. how exactly does playing a console locally have more latency than streaming that same console using the cloud(which depends entirely on internet connection)? the console may have its own latency, but with cloud youd have that same consoles latency + the latency of the cloud(or closed delivery loop thing). it just doesnt add up, unless Im missing something.


    Because in a virtual environment there is a central server that sends out the images and receives commands from the users. Instead of having everyone having the local host process whats going on and then sending it to the server. This will reduce the bandwidth used and allow everyone to be on the same playing field.

    You'd basically see the images of whats being portrayed instead of streaming the entirety of the game itself. Your gaming "station" (whether it be console or pc) will be just sending commands (movement, fire, looking around, etc) to the "Sky" host which processes the games and commands locally which houses everyone else's gaming session. This contributes to lower latency, bandwidth usage and you don't have to pay out the buns for a better rig.

    This is a good alternative for those that fit the bill. Personally, I think we should just hold our ISP infrastructure to a higher standard.
  • 0 Hide
    megabuster , August 23, 2013 10:01 AM
    this is not better than dedicated servers that are chosen based on player party location (ie the server is selected with the best average ping between all players to that server). Only works for low power machines (phones, tablets and computers w/ IGC)
  • 0 Hide
    megabuster , August 23, 2013 10:12 AM
    Double post
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    2Be_or_Not2Be , August 23, 2013 11:10 AM
    Guys, you're missing the biggest problem. Yes, there will be speed advantages if the processing is all done on the server. However, the BAD part will be sending the screen refreshes back to the client. There will be inherent massive latency on massive screen changes (imagine your character teleports to another location - the whole screen has to refresh) as well as overall increased latency because of screen refreshes on the client. The user's Internet connection isn't always the fastest nor the closest, so you can't guarantee what experience the client will have when they move to a "cloud gaming" platform as described by AMD.

    Having frequently used Remote Desktops and even trying some video through the remote connection, I can assure you it won't be pretty. With today's graphic-heavy games, that's a lot of screen data to send back. Just imagine it on a slow DSL connection - yikes!
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    hannibal , August 25, 2013 1:18 PM
    Yep... paying 2$ / minute to play a game is not exacly a sane thing to do... Well maybe not 2$/minute, but as it has been said. This is only usefull with unlimited data plan, and those are not exactly cheap everywhere in this clobe.
  • 0 Hide
    Germaximus , August 26, 2013 3:09 PM
    I've been cloud gaming on OnLive for over 2 years and it's amazing. Just needs games.