Texas startup Bigfoot Networks
wants to convince already cash-strapped PC gamers that they should spend yet more money on a "Network Gaming Accelerator card"
that will kill on-line "lag"
. Before they can convince gamers to buy hardware they probably won't need, they need to convince them "lag"
isn't what we've all assumed it was, performance degradation due to latency or server congestion.
To do this, they've released a super-scientific White Paper
(pdf) that first claims "lag"
, has no definition. They then go on to kindly provide their own all encompassing definitions - which includes ghosting and other in game phenomenon. While it's clear that most causes of lag are outside the player's control, Bigfoot wants to convince gamers otherwise: that most gaming "lag"
occurs at the client & server side CPU level.
They've apparently sold investors on the idea, having just grabbed four million
in funding for their network gaming accelerator card. The idea also won them $100,000
at a tech-incubator competition recently held at the University of Texas. The idea also won the inventors $5,000
in Fortune Small Business magazine's third annual business-plan contest. "Bigfoot Networks products will infuse online gaming with blazing speed, making them a ton more fun,"
claims CEO Harlan Beverly. "We are to online games what 3D video cards are to graphics: essentially. Eventually, we plan to completely eliminate the dreaded lag monster."
Amusingly, no actual technical details surrounding the card have been released to the public. The closest technical specs we could find were from a Fortune
report, which claims the card "communicates with servers, downloading some of the processes that they perform online and allowing them to run faster, thus speeding up online games."