WITH online gaming exploding in popularity, Optus are looking to expand their NBN offering with a product targeted especially for hardcore gamers.
Known as Optus Game Path, the new product is launching next week and is a combined app and service which, for AUD$10 per month, will enable Optus NBN customers to reduce their lag when playing online PC games, particularly on overseas servers.
The idea is that using machine learning, game traffic will be routed over the most optimal internet path available, with a view to reducing lag and smoothing out spikes as well.
The technology sounds a bit like a VPN, but differs in that it is not tunnelling all the user’s internet traffic; just that related to gaming (so, for example, it won’t make your Netfix buffering any faster or access geoblocked content).
Per the official announcement:
“Optus research shows that lag is the enemy of PC gamers, with over 50% of hardcore gamers stating that it is the key pain-point when gaming. Lag can be created because networks are complex and there are so many routes available for gaming traffic.
Game Path analyses these routes and finds the fastest path to the game server and routes the traffic down that path. This is particularly effective when gaming servers are located overseas, and this is where customers will see the biggest improvements.
Offered as a $10 add-on initially to Optus nbn customers, and perfect for people who game regularly on international servers, the Windows 10 application is designed to reduce lag and spikes, resulting in a faster, smoother connection when playing online with Optus data showing Game Path can reduce lag on average by 30% – which can mean the difference between life and death in a PC game.”
Optus’ data indicates a lag reduction of up to 30 per cent, although the results will be most pronounced when connected to an overseas server (30 per cent reduction from a 180ms ping is a big deal, 30 per cent reduction from a 40-50ms server isn’t likely to make much difference for most gamers Down Under)
While many of us already have a decent gaming router like the Netgear Nighthawk XR700, which can help keep traffic within the home under control so you can still game effectively while everyone else binge-watches Netflix, Optus content and product development vice president Clive Dickens said Game Path was designed to focus on the space between the modem and the server, which is generally out of the user’s control.
“Game Path will add another dimension to our Optus NBN service offering for serious gamers by addressing lag and going a long way to reduce it where it occurs – outside of the home on the open internet,” he said.
Game Path will be available from next week and Optus have confirmed there will be no contracts, although customers will need to be an Optus NBN customer to take full advantage of it.
Initially Game Path will only be available for PC gamers, but Optus have confirmed they have plans in place to roll it out for consoles (such as the new Xbox and PlayStation units) and mobile devices in due course as well.
The move comes alongside part of a push by Optus into the 5G mobile and data streaming space, which to date has largely been considered Telstra’s domain – and with this new foray into gaming infrastructure, things could get very interesting for Australian gamers soon.