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Wiimote latency - my final question answered

Discussion in 'Nintendo Wii Chat' started by Colmino, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. Colmino

    Colmino WiiChat Member

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    I've spent the last year avidly tracking down and scrutinizing as much Wii footage as I could get my hands on - especially any videos which showcased both TV and user at the same time. Having determined in advance some aspects of the nature of the wireless control scheme, and being aware of the limits of some of those aspects, I was keeping my eyes open for one particular phenomenon.

    The phenomenon I had reason to anticipate seemed to be verified by several of the aforementioned videos showing people playing various games. But I had to be sure. So I picked up my Wii yesterday and have spent ample time utilizing it.

    Understand that in my capacity as a video and audio hobbyist, timings, and particularly sync-related issues, are something I'm used to being meticulously aware of. Here is what seems to be happening, along with my suspicions as to why.

    The Wiimote's traditional controls - the "plus" pad, the analog stick, the buttons - all seem to be utilizing the same, effectively latency-free wireless technology utilized by the Gamecube Wavebird controller. There is no detectable lag.

    The functions related to determining the positioning and angles of the Wiimote and nunchuk are most likely accomplished exclusively by the infrared sensor bar. This would explain the considerable latency, which I generously estimate to be 150 milliseconds, or comparable to a speedy dial-up modem connection or an intolerably lagged broadband connection.

    These phenomena are observable, and identical, in both Wii Sports and the Wii's built-in default system menus. Considering the well-established latency issues related to infrared technology, there is little wonder that such phenomena are observed.

    The wonder, instead, is that such a patently poor communication technology was chosen for use in a control scheme on a videogame system - a platform on which latency is of paramount concern.

    I am tempted to produce slow-motion videos, slowed down, to illustrate precisely how much latency is being exhibited, between flicks of the Wiimote and on-screen result. To such a video, I would add the result from a wireless mouse I've owned for years, which manages to be latency-free as well as sensor bar-free and yet works like a charm at three-dimensional hand motions. Others may feel free to develop their own video, proving the point, or, brave soul ye, attempting to disprove.

    Now, the good news is that since proper wireless motion technology has existed for many years, the option is very much open for Nintendo to offer, say, a "high accuracy, low-latency, sensor bar-free" alternative to the Wiimote. There is no reason why such a product could not be fully compatible with preexisting games.
     
  2. wele

    wele You can call me Wii-Lee!

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    so that means... there shouldn't be a problem with any other type of game while using the wiimote?
     
  3. Icuic

    Icuic WiiChat Member

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    The communication technology is actually Bluetooth. The sensor bar just allows the wiimote to work out where it is in relation to the tv.

    I'll admit that I'm not an expert on such things but other wireless 3d motion detectors require slightly more expensive triangulation point devices right?
     
  4. Sovieto

    Sovieto Banned

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    150 milliseconds, do you have evidence to support that statement?

    from my "studies" ive concluded that there is a 2 second lag between this and this, dont ask how i got it, but this article i wrote this error free long article and you should listen to me!
     
    #4 Sovieto, Nov 26, 2006
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2006
  5. Sam_Harris

    Sam_Harris ******

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    You may be onto something there
     
  6. kingjames488

    kingjames488 WiiChat Member

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    one thing, your compairing to a wireless mouse??
    it dosn't move in 3D, only up, down, left, right...
    also is uses laser tracking system (it would seem) and not gyroscopic and acceleromiters like the Wiimote.
    I'm no expert tho, i might be wrong.

    kingjames
     
  7. Rajveer

    Rajveer WiiChat Member

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    Accelerometers shouldnt have an effect on speed, play a gameboy colour game with accelerometers and you'll see theres no lag. Which means if theres any lag it must be in the transmission of data from the remote to the Wii right?
     
  8. Leviathan

    Leviathan I AM ERROR

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    Just to put that in perspective, the average humans reaction time (ie shoot an enemy) is about 300ms. To think and react (ie work out if it's an enemy or ally then shoot) takes, on average 350ms.
     
  9. ABC

    ABC Banned

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    The Sensor bar does NOT transitmit any data from the Wiimote to the Wii itself. For example, this kid tok his sensor bar completely off, turned off all the lights, and used two candles in place of the sensor bar... and it works better.

    GameTrailers.com - User Movie: WII candle sensor by samydabukiex

    Honestly, Nintendo is pawning off some terribly old technology and just using it in a new way to control games... but hell, it works and it's fun.
     
  10. motherbrainrulez

    motherbrainrulez WiiChat Member

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    my brain just died
     
  11. ABC

    ABC Banned

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    Hahaha, there is nothing haard to understand about what I just posted.... the original post on the other hand...
     
  12. Haz

    Haz Nintendo Encyclopedia

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    :eek:ut: You should get out more...
     
  13. Xepher__

    Xepher__ Stepmania God

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    Meh, who cares about the MS difference on the controls? As long as I can execute on screen, I am fine with it. Most of our brains slow down when we go to do something in-game anyway, since no one is really used to being "in" the game yet.
     
  14. Squall7

    Squall7 A li'l bit different

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    Well, based on user experience, I haven't heard any complaints.

    Also, you're saying that there's a 0.15 second lag between what you're doing and what's on screen? If I try to double tap on a stopwatch, I get around the same time. Doesn't seem too bad for me. Also, let's not forget that it's not merely a case of amount of time between the light rays (infared/radio waves etc) coming from the wiimote to the Wii, it's also time to process the data, spew it onto the screen and to get to the camera. Also, considering camera's record at roughly a speed of 25 frames per second, that's a 0.04 seconds between each frame, so it's possibly working down to roughly 0.10 seconds realtime. That's if the video is playing truely in real time (many different video conversion functions can skip out frames/reduce time etc...) So unless you're making the footage yourself, it could end up being reduced further. Unless of course, you've taken these details into consideration in your calculations.

    But like I said before, nobody else I've heard speak about the Wii has complained in the slightest about lag time.

    Oh, and I doubt if 0.15 seconds would be enough for anyone to complain about lag on broadband. Think about repeatidly tapping a button on the control pad, only instead of firing on the first tap (immediately) it fires on the second tap instead (roughly 0.15 seconds). I know that wouldn't bother me at all, considering I'd probably learn to work with it (i.e. pressing the button 0.15 seconds before I needed to).
     
  15. motherbrainrulez

    motherbrainrulez WiiChat Member

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    i used to do the stopwatch thing all the time in school... well i stil do but i got a 0.5 (theres a trick to it)
     
  16. opstand

    opstand WiiChat Member

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    150 ms is hardly intolerable lag. I've played so many online games I can't even begin to guess how many hours of my life I wasted, and if I'm pinging 150 or less I am happy. Of course less than 100 ms is ideal, but I can game with the best of them at 150 ms. And good luck finding a dial up connection (of any kind) that will give you a ping of anywhere under 200 ms...
     
  17. SuperH

    SuperH WiiChat Member

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    Yeah, I noticed the lag too, but I call it negligible since the games account for that, anyway. In other words, it's a non-issue.
     
  18. sipherx

    sipherx WiiChat Member

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    I think everyone needs to take a deep breath... and hold it.
     
  19. Inspire

    Inspire '';aM;'' Inspire

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    150 ms is a considerable amount of lag in online fps gaming. Unless you're playing Halo PC.
     
  20. Weebs

    Weebs WiiChat Member

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    So true, so true :) I myself would love to see a video that accurately shows the lag between the wii action and the actual movement.
     

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