Input Delay Advantages in Online Games Could Be Addressed Through an EA Patent

Input Delay Advantages in Online Games Could Be Addressed Through an EA Patent ...

In video games, there are many different kinds of internet servers, although the most common are dedicated and peer-to-peer. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but the latter, which involves one player acting as the host while the others connect directly to them, is generally considered to be the worst of the two due to the many advantages that can arise when selected as the session's host.

Due to the fact that the host's inputs do not need to be sent and received to a distant server in order to be processed, many gamers prefer to play on dedicated servers, though developers prefer to go along the peer-to-peer route rather. Fortunately, some companies have at least attempted to minimize the host's disadvantage, as evidenced by a recently-published patent from EA.

The invention entails a system that would allow for an artificial input delay to be utilized to ensure that every player's inputs take the same amount of time to process. On a 60hz refresh rate display, this delay would be 100 milliseconds, which, on a 60hz refresh rate display, would equal six whole frames.

Although some gamers spend thousands on low-latency displays with high refresh rates and expensive gaming mice to improve reaction times, the notion that designers intentionally add lag may seem strange to some. Competitive gamers can still benefit from paying more for better equipment because they'll be able to receive their images quicker once they've been processed and returned by the host.

Some games according to this disclosure may include an input processing delay of 100 seconds regardless of gaming device or gaming setup.

It's important to note that there is no evidence that EA is already using the system described in the patent, nor that other companies or publishers have already implemented similar systems of their own (as others have argued for years). Regardless, the fact that EA has filed a patent based on the idea of adding artificial input processing delays to its video games would seem to suggest that the publisher is considering it at the very least.