Duke and Microsoft have overcome cloud gaming’s biggest obstacle


Cloud gaming is the reason you can play high-resolution games on your smartphone or tablet, as a powerful computer is doing all of the heavy processing needed to run the game and simply sends the results of that processing to your device. As awesome as that is, however, cloud gaming is still a massive bandwidth hog, which can be very troublesome for people using limited mobile data. The good news is that the combined efforts of Duke University and Microsoft have resulted in a way to reduce that bandwidth consumption by 83%.  

Bandwidth can be one of the most frustrating challenges of online gaming, but Microsoft Research and Duke University may have just found a solution. The two organizations have been able to use a tool to reduce online gaming bandwidth by 83 percent, according to Winbeta.org. The tool, known as Kahawai, uses “collaborative rendering” to reduce data usage. Rather than having computations performed on a remote server, some computational work is completed on the device itself. As an example, the mobile device will sketch each frame, while the remote server is tasked with filling in the fine-grained details, according to Duke Today. “You essentially get the same gaming experience, but you save a lot of data,” Landon Cox, one of the Kahawai developers, told Duke Today. High-resolution games available for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, are playable through a process known as cloud gaming. This means that every time you input a move, it’s sent over the Internet to a remote server — your device doesn’t have to do any of the work. In order for cloud gaming to operate flawlessly, though, data needs to be quickly eaten up in transmitting your gaming moves to the server. This creates an obvious problem: Within a few hours of play on your mobile device, your data limit may be reached.

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