Google Stadia reportedly bested by Project xCloud in early latency tests

What you need to know

  • "Project xCloud" is Microsoft's upcoming game streaming service.
  • At E3 2019, everyone could test it out by streaming a game 400 miles away.
  • An analysis says xCloud only exhibited 67 ms of input lag which is almost the same as playing on an Xbox One.
  • March's Stadia analysis saw 166 ms of input lag.

At E3 2019, Microsoft is giving gamers the chance to try out "Project xCloud," its game streaming service that competes with Google Stadia. The server is located 400 miles away, but you can access games like Gears of War 4 and Halo 5: Guardians – both of which run at 60 frames per second (FPS) – on an Android phone connected to a controller.

According to an analysis by Ars Technica, xCloud only exhibited 67 milliseconds (ms) of input lag compared to Stadia's 166 ms. If you directly play Halo 5 on a console, you experience 63 ms of input lag:

In our video tests, the time between tapping the A button and seeing a response on the smartphone screen took sixteen frames of a 240 FPS video or 67 ms across three subsequent tests. That's almost imperceptibly slower than the 63 ms input latency Digital Foundry measured on the Xbox One version of Halo 5 in 2017... Testing latency of a wired... Stadia demonstration at March's Game Developers Conference, Digital Foundry found total latency of 166 ms, compared to a low of 100 ms on a 60 FPS PC.

Keep in mind that this test was conducted in less-than-ideal testing conditions, but it still shows a dramatic reduction in input lag when compared to Stadia's previous testing. However, as this is an early test, the input lag could change on xCloud going forward.

The same applies to Stadia. Since its reveal in March, Google may have managed to bring down the input lag further. We should know for sure in November when Stadia goes live for Founder's Edition subscribers and xCloud is in public trials. Let the streaming wars begin!

Asher Madan
  • It's not a huge surprise Microsoft would beat Google in this area given they have far more experience in enterprise cloud servers and far, far, far more experience in gaming. Also, as far as I'm aware humans perceive anything under 100ms as instant... Which means the input lag on Stadia would be noticeable on a conscious level, meaning Stadia sucks.
  • Really. Article about Microsoft and you try selling me a remote for that POS PlayStation...
  • I am pretty sure the MS test would actually have been under "very" ideal conditions. It was done at the "Microsoft" Theater where they would have complete control over all aspects of the network.
  • Google would've made their conditions ideal as well. They even went so far as using a wired controller, while Microsoft used a wireless. Also keep in mind this area was far busier, and far more subject to wireless interference. It's pretty impressive.
  • And Google's wouldn't? Lol. Wake up stan
  • Microsoft claims their service is better at a Microsoft event... Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhocking
  • Wasn't a Microsoft claim. Test by a third party.
  • Haha. Salty troll is salty
  • E3 isn't a Microsoft event. Both had presentations there.
  • The service was tested by a third-party, no one made any claims.
  • Impressive, especially considering it was over wifi, and Stadia over wire.
  • I would wonder what the display devices were. If one had a higher refresh rate than the other then it could impact their "how many frames did it take" testing.
  • Galaxy S8 on xcloud. If Google used anything better, then that's truly embarrassing.
  • This article is bullshit tho! This is what it should have said...
    "Xcloud is measured at 67ms (on 720p) on Halo 5 which has a latency of 63ms on Xbox One.
    Stadia is measured at 166ms (on 1080p) on AC Odyssey which as a latency of 144ms on Xbox One."
  • Both games run at 60 FPS, so the test is valid. Beforehand, people were comparing 30 FPS xCloud and Xbox One games to 60 FPS Stadia games.
  • All I know is that I bought Stadia and I won't be buying into xcloud. I am sure there will always be people saying this service sucks or that service sucks because epeen. I hope both services are great and the competition between them makes them even better. Otherwise... Just another useless controller, oh well.
  • There you go. Never let facts get in the way of a preorder.
  • Ummm, xCloud is going to be free if you already own an Xbox One and the game. At least that's what Phil Spencer said during E3 2019.
  • That's cool, but I wouldn't put all your trust in this sort of report. It's good data to have but things could be very different once you're on your home wifi, or if you play online at Mcdonald's, which is what most competitive fps gamers do.
  • This article is absolute bullshit...
    Xcloud is measured at 67ms (on 720p) on Halo 5 which has a latency of 63ms on Xbox One.
    Stadia is measured at 166ms (on 1080p) on AC Odyssey which as a latency of 144ms on Xbox One.
    The article doesn't mention anything about "resolution" and "game"...
  • Both games are 60 FPS. The comparison is valid. If one game was 30 FPS and the other was 60 FPS, then it wouldn't be valid.