I think you are overestimating how quickly a computer is able to process inputs. Just pulling something from RAM takes ~10ms on a very good computer, let alone doing anything with that data.
Reducing it significantly below the ~100ms mark isn't about upgrading your computer though. You can shave a few ms off with a decent monitor (although that would also improve the input latency if the game was rendered remotely), but the majority of the improvements that reduce input lag are to the game engine. That's why stuff twitch based games, like fighting or FPS games, achieve such low input latency whereas something like an RPG wouldn't.
To provide an example as to why input is processed instantly lets say you press "a" in mortal kombat. It will go something like this:
• Send interrupt to the CPU;
• Tell the game a button has been pressed;
• Process scheduler will assign CPU time to the game, it may need to switch threads if there is something scheduled on that thread that it can't interrupt (like a system process);
• Game calls the corresponding function (let's say punch in this instance);
• Function checks whether the character can currently make the move;
• If yes, start rendering the first frame of the move.
There is an entire host of stuff that goes on that I haven't listed, mostly because it's not my area of expertise, but also because most of it is obscured even from the developers behind numerous layers of abstraction anyway. It happens very, very quickly but it is not
If you want an example of this look at these tests here: https://www.reddit.com/r/cloudygamer...ormance_input/
. You can see that different games give differing results, although again these games are FPS games designed for low input latency so they're generally, but not all, below 100ms anyway. I would note that any improvements in engine would grant the same decrease to the corresponding game if rendered remotely, much as an improved display would.
Yeah, I know, I googled it before posting. The above guy just thinks "gaming" PCs somehow process inputs more quickly.
Oh I agree that this is awful for consumers, but it's not a physics problem. The bad for consumers part will be when games that have no place being put on a streaming service, e.g. twitch based games, will be forced onto them by companies like EA. Likely either as exclusives to draw users, or they'll start moving their PC library in general to a streaming service to combat piracy (although they probably won't say that's the reason). And that's before you end up with x
different streaming services all demanding a small sum of money for access to their titles, some of which will be exclusive, and when the total for all those subs is added up it'll end up costing more to access the latest games than it did before.
Either way ~180ms is not pushing up against theoretical limits. The technology isn't the issue, even distance within the processor is a negligible constraint. I mean the traces are mostly gold so you're looking at a signal propagating hundreds of thousands of meters per millisecond, even the actual stream can be transmitted primarily over fibre to the local cabinet in most western nations. The bulk of the latency is in processing which can