It would be hard to overstate just how competitive hardcore gamers are these days.
With a passion to win – and precious bragging rights at stake – gamers painstakingly seek every conceivable advantage to enhance their playing performance. And as the competition rages on, the popularity of live-streamed gaming is exploding. Goldman Sachs predicts ‘eSports’ to reach almost 300 million viewers by next year. For a sense of scale, this is on par with NFL viewership numbers.
Speed is everything when it comes to outperforming your opponents, and latency is, therefore, a major concern among die hard gamers. So it’s no surprise that they sometimes go to great lengths to enhance their playing speed and response time, tweaking their performance whenever and wherever they can.
THE NEED FOR SPEED
In terms of hardware, this can include blazingly fast GPUs/graphics cards for maximum processing horsepower, and displays that can refresh up to 300 times per second to ensure stunningly precise image and movement simulation. But this is just the beginning for the hardcore gamer, who considers every element from the network all the way to the mouse.
Gamers today may seek out fiber to the home (FTTH) network connectivity to enable latency in the single-digit milliseconds, and will run speed tests (pings) to verify and calibrate their network performance. Routers are tested and tuned for quality of service (QoS), and some gamers manually seek and select the regional game servers located closest to them in order to minimize latency.
So what about that humble mouse? For high-end gaming set ups, that “humble mouse” can easily run hundreds of dollars, particularly for ultra-light mice with finely balanced weight and ergonomic profiles. As you scale up for wireless mice that liberate you from the tangle of cords/cables that have proven – time after frustrating time – to be a deadly interference with fast, fluid gameplay motion, the price points tend to scale up accordingly. These premium wireless gaming mice aspire to deliver wired-like performance and latency without the wires. Except they don’t, because they can’t.
At least not yet.
MOVE OVER, BLUETOOTH
For all the investments that hardcore gamers make in their gear to minimize latency and maximize performance, their Bluetooth-connected wireless mice – as well as keyboards and headsets – will literally always underperform against wire-connected devices owing to the inherent limitations of Bluetooth technology itself. Even already existing wireless RF mice (not on Bluetooth) that connect using a USB dongle are not much better in performance.
So you’ve paid all this money for ultra-low latency – from your network, to your home, to your computer, to its peripherals – and yet you could ultimately squander all of this amazing performance with…your mouse?
When gamers press the mouse button, they want an instantaneous response. It’s really that simple. But Bluetooth can only deliver response speeds of 20 to 30 milliseconds at best.
We’ve got good news for you, gamers! Leveraging ultra-low latency ultrawide band (UWB) connectivity, SPARK has demonstrated 1 millisecond latency for UWB wireless gaming peripherals, and we’re well along the path to achieving 0.5 and even 0.2 milliseconds. Not only is this far beyond what Bluetooth could ever do, it’s even faster than what many commercially available USB-wired mice can deliver today.
NO MORE COMPROMISES
SPARK is working closely with customers to bring UWB-caliber performance and latency to gamers everywhere with a new generation of wireless mice, headsets and other peripherals that close the performance gap with wired alternatives once and for all. We anticipate making some exciting news on this front in the months ahead as the countdown to CES 2022 begins. UWB wireless technology will be centerstage for many of the gamers in attendance, and we look forward to demonstrating all that UWB has to offer for hardcore gamers seeking that extra competitive edge.