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Playstation Now Beta: Game load times revealed

Tagg9

Member
Feb 11, 2010
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In addition to the other poster's answer, you will even be able to earn trophies for games that never had trophies. You heard me right. If, for example, FFVII for the PS1 ever becomes streamable over PSNow, it will have trophies. Same for every other game.

This is factually incorrect. Sony has filed a patent that would enable this, but they haven't said whether or not they actually will do it for PlayStation Now.
 

Ferrio

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
56,365
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Load times aren't the issue with cloud gaming.... seems really stupid to even bring it up.
 

mr teaspoon

Member
Jan 19, 2013
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If Sony can get PlayStation Now to work perfectly in terms of input lag, smooth streaming, etc. I think a less than one minute wait is perfectly fine.
 
Dec 30, 2008
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Not bad at all for loading a full game over a network.

That is not how this stuff works. How do you imagine a 20GB game to load over the network in 50 seconds?
Basically you send your controller inputs and they send you the Image. There will be minimal/no game data stored on your HDD.
 

ClearData

Member
Jul 23, 2013
2,151
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375
Less than a minute? Why is that such a bad time? They are delivering content from far away and it is a beta. Things might improve from here.
 

spwolf

Member
Feb 15, 2007
16,282
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All are less than a minute, which is great for a beta, but I hoped it was faster. Wouldn't it be cool if a game loaded like a movie did on netflix? Oh well…



More info at source:
http://www.dualshockers.com/2014/02/14/playstation-now-heres-how-long-every-game-available-takes-to-load-in-the-beta/

it takes 22-25s for my PS3 to start... what does splash screen mean? It also takes a while for every game to load as well.

You can certainly not start PS3 and a game under these times.
 
K

kittens

Unconfirmed Member
Complaining about this is so absurd. The technology will improve. In the mean time, I'm sure you can survive waiting 50 seconds for your game to load.
 

EL CUCO

Member
Oct 31, 2013
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Less than a minute? Why is that such a bad time? They are delivering content from far away and it is a beta. Things might improve from here.

Its not. Some people are just trying to be funny.

I laughed at "Playstation Later"

Um What are they talking about?
Isn't this time spent setting something up on the server, like installing the game?

Its not installing anything. The only thing that touches your HDD is whatever the app needs to save/run on your system. The game itself is being streamed directly from the cloud.

Edit: Unless I misunderstood your comment.
 

viveks86

Member
Sep 12, 2013
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it takes 22-25s for my PS3 to start... what does splash screen mean? It also takes a while for every game to load as well.

You can certainly not start PS3 and a game under these times.

They are not starting a PS3 every time someone connects. They probably have systems already running and connect the user to one that's running and available. So Ps3 start times are irrelevant.

Splash screen refers to the game logo/producer logo etc. The stuff that you wish you could skip in every game.
 
Aug 19, 2006
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The loading times appear highly variable from game to game, and considering how much data needs to travel between the datacenter and the local PS3, they definitely don’t seem too bad. We also have to remember that the service is still in beta, there’s still room for improvement.

Um What are they talking about?
Isn't this time spent setting something up on the server, like installing the game?
 

PJV3

Member
Jan 26, 2009
10,871
5
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What are people doing lifestyle wise to make 50 seconds an issue, what it plays like is what matters.
 

viveks86

Member
Sep 12, 2013
15,859
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Um What are they talking about?
Isn't this time spent setting something up on the server, like installing the game?

Yeah I'm pretty sure they have misunderstood how it works. Also, I don't think servers get setup during that time. This is simply the time it takes to load the game that is already installed. Since the hardware probably mirrors PS3 hardware, it just takes similar duration to load the game and start streaming.
 

spwolf

Member
Feb 15, 2007
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They are not starting a PS3 every time someone connects. They probably have systems already running and connect the user to one that's running and available. So Ps3 start times are irrelevant.

Splash screen refers to the game logo/producer logo etc. The stuff that you wish you could skip in every game.

they are actually probably starting a "server" each time you start the service. So yes, it is very much relevant.

Also, it takes some time to get to the splash screen as well. I just started DMC, and it took 12s to get to the Capcom logo. PES 2014 took 18s to show small "now loading" graphics.

What else do you think it is doing 50s, transmitting the "screen"? If system was ready, screen would load in a second, i mean they do 30fps at minimum.
 

Prelude.

Member
Jun 18, 2013
7,740
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Our tipster also gave us full details on his internet connection (via Speedtest) for reference, as it does seem to influence the loading times considerably.

Ping: 17ms
Download speed: 7.65 Mbps
Upload speed: 1.88 Mbps
That's actually pretty good.
 

cpp_is_king

Member
Mar 1, 2011
16,816
105
590
they are actually probably starting a "server" each time you start the service. So yes, it is very much relevant.

Also, it takes some time to get to the splash screen as well. I just started DMC, and it took 12s to get to the Capcom logo. PES 2014 took 18s to show small "now loading" graphics.

What else do you think it is doing 50s, transmitting the "screen"? If system was ready, screen would load in a second, i mean they do 30fps at minimum.

Debating over how they manage their cloud is both futile and silly. We already know they've built custom hardware so that the PS3s can be racked, so speculating about this is speculating about implementation details of a black box. We have *no idea* what they're doing.
 

EL CUCO

Member
Oct 31, 2013
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You may have. Something is going on for ~50 before the game can be launched, it shouldn't be transferring a ton of data to the PS3 in that time except for connection quality tests or whatever.


Ahh ok. The footage ive seen has been a "testing connection" screen so I would imagine its locating a server based on your area/connection.
 
Aug 19, 2006
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Debating over how they manage their cloud is both futile and silly. We already know they've built custom hardware so that the PS3s can be racked, so speculating about this is speculating about implementation details of a black box. We have *no idea* what they're doing.

True enough. I wonder if each time is just a fixed value, plus the individual game's usual time-to-splash.

Ahh ok. The footage ive seen has been a "testing connection" screen so I would imagine its locating a server based on your area/connection.

That would make sense.
 

viveks86

Member
Sep 12, 2013
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they are actually probably starting a "server" each time you start the service. So yes, it is very much relevant.

Also, it takes some time to get to the splash screen as well. I just started DMC, and it took 12s to get to the Capcom logo. PES 2014 took 18s to show small "now loading" graphics.

What else do you think it is doing 50s, transmitting the "screen"? If system was ready, screen would load in a second, i mean they do 30fps at minimum.

Huh? Nobody ever does that in a cloud environment. Servers will be running all the time. You are killing its longevity if you keep starting and stopping servers after every session. 50 seconds could very well be a bunch of other tasks in addition to loading the game, such as ping testing, gaikai overhead, signing in a user into the chosen machine etc. It could be anything and debating this is pure speculation. All I'm saying is that it can't be latencies due to a power on cycle.
 

cpp_is_king

Member
Mar 1, 2011
16,816
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Huh? Nobody ever does that in a cloud environment. Servers will be running all the time. You are killing its longevity if you keep starting and stopping servers after every session. 50 seconds could very well be a bunch of other tasks in addition to loading the game, such as ping testing, gaikai overhead, signing in a user into the chosen machine etc. It could be anything and debating this is pure speculation. All I'm saying is that it can't be latencies due to a power on cycle.

Besides, if they're smart they will be using (or at least have explored the idea of) a one-game-per-PS3 architecture. So like they've got this one PS3, and all it does is play Disgaea 4. But it can play Disgaea 4 for more than one person. So you boot it up, the first thing it does is load all the resources for the entire game into memory. They have a virtual memory layer so that resources are always mapped into the same address region, and now someone else playing Disgaea 4 connects to this machine, and everything is already loaded.

Again, speculation, but the point is that I'm agreeing with you in that there is no way in hell they are cycling machines between users and games. You have a lot of flexibility and areas for re-use and shared processing when it comes to the cloud. Of course, it all depends on how advanced and modified these custom PS3s are.
 

spwolf

Member
Feb 15, 2007
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Huh? Nobody ever does that in a cloud environment. Servers will be running all the time. You are killing its longevity if you keep starting and stopping servers after every session. 50 seconds could very well be a bunch of other tasks in addition to loading the game, such as ping testing, gaikai overhead, signing in a user into the chosen machine etc. It could be anything and debating this is pure speculation. All I'm saying is that it can't be latencies due to a power on cycle.

This is not the same as virtual server instances you usually see running in the cloud services... here 1 server is 1 instance. On your typical cloud service, you have 1 server running >1000 client instances. I am quite sure they will not leave servers running when not needed, power is very expensive and game consoles are very very inefficient compared to what you usually see in cloud environment. Also, just signing into already running PS3 console still takes some time.

From my test of 2 games, just getting the PS3 game to the point of showing anything on the screen, takes between 12s and 18s. So extra 20-35s for whatever else they need to do, seems quite in line with normal PS3 operations.

They might be able to optimize this a bit more by customising PS3 firmware, but under 1 minute is same as what you get when you start PS3 and then start the game, so i am not sure why do people think that it "should" be a lot faster.
 

cakefoo

Member
Jun 24, 2006
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How does this compare to booting the games from a Blu-ray disc or hard drive? Like another 20-30 seconds?
 

chogidogs

Member
Mar 27, 2009
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980
Loading isn't really as important as latency in general. I wanna know if it's actually playable.
 

spwolf

Member
Feb 15, 2007
16,282
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0
Besides, if they're smart they will be using (or at least have explored the idea of) a one-game-per-PS3 architecture.

this is not possible at all, not only it is inefficient, it means that the game would have to be designed for that.

PSNow has 8 servers in one case, running off some high speed network storage solution that has all the games available. When user logins, at minimum it will have to start one of these virtualized server instances, login user to the server and login user to the PSN. Then start the game that user selected. Game starting part can not be customized because then not all games will be compatible, only way this works is if it is setup the same way as your PS3.

So sure, they can customize everything thats in hardware and firmware, so they can have 8x cell's running in single case off single PSU, and they can have firmware that skips everything thats not necessary when it comes to loading OS, BUT they can not change anything when it comes to games, or else they will break game compatibility and it would be impossible to get publishers to go back and "adjust" their games to be compatible with PSNow.
 

spwolf

Member
Feb 15, 2007
16,282
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How does this compare to booting the games from a Blu-ray disc or hard drive? Like another 20-30 seconds?

It seems almost the same speed as if you started your PS3 from off and then started the game right away.
 

viveks86

Member
Sep 12, 2013
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Besides, if they're smart they will be using (or at least have explored the idea of) a one-game-per-PS3 architecture. So like they've got this one PS3, and all it does is play Disgaea 4. But it can play Disgaea 4 for more than one person. So you boot it up, the first thing it does is load all the resources for the entire game into memory. They have a virtual memory layer so that resources are always mapped into the same address region, and now someone else playing Disgaea 4 connects to this machine, and everything is already loaded.

Yeah I would hope this is the direction it evolves in, if not done already. They have customized the design enough to compress 8 PS3 equivalent hardware on one motherboard. I'm sure they are working on more intelligent ways to utilize resources than simply powering them down.

EDIT:

On second thoughts, I doubt if Sony has gone down the path of changing the way memory access works. Porting costs would make it prohibitive, unless they built all the custom functionality as part of some framework that is transparent to the game code. But if they had gone that far, they wouldn't have needed customized PS3 hardware to begin with. Might as well emulate everything in software. Clearly they haven't done that.