Nintendo gets caught up in lag controversy during the Smash Bros. Ultimate North America Open 2019

As you might have heard, Nintendo has come under fire this weekend due to some issues with the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North America Open 2019. It wasn't so much the gameplay issue that caused an uproar, but instead, how the situation was handled.

As you can see in the clip above, there was a bit of lag during Nintendo's most recent Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament. When the lag became an issue, Nintendo cut away from the action and turned the camera to the commentary team. That's when we hear that the lag seen on-stream wasn't actually being experienced by the players themselves. The thing is, all evidence points to that not being the case.

I've experienced a tiny bit of lag when I played Smash Bros. Ultimate. Nothing deal-breaking, but definitely noticeable for a second or two. Plenty of other people have commented on lag issues with the game, asking Nintendo to fix things up, or work on a completely different online solution. Nintendo hasn't commented too much on those requests, but now the problem was front-and-center during one of their own tournaments. Unfortunately, it seems Nintendo decided to sweep the issue under the rug, and present it as something else.

We've reached out to Nintendo for comment on this matter. If we receive any official comment, we'll be sure to let you know.


Top Rated Comment

For Smash specifically, dedicated servers would actually add more lag in 1v1 matches because of communication to the server. There's a possibility it might help free for all matches, but generally people seem to complain about 1v1 fights.

There's this weird misconception that goes around that it's all Nintendos fault, when it's just how P2P works online and there's not much you can do about it if someone has a bad connection.

What do you expect for $20 a year? 😉 Well actually, a better service and dedicated servers would be a start.

For Smash specifically, dedicated servers would actually add more lag in 1v1 matches because of communication to the server. There's a possibility it might help free for all matches, but generally people seem to complain about 1v1 fights.

There's this weird misconception that goes around that it's all Nintendos fault, when it's just how P2P works online and there's not much you can do about it if someone has a bad connection.

it's certainly not all nintendo's fault, but they definitely could/should be doing more, especially for their biggest games.

i mean for starters, GGPO is a thing.

Tue Feb 12 19 01:53am
(Updated 2 times)

I believe the better part of his point was: paying 20$/year for the same peer-to-peer online multiplayer quality on console games as before is stupid.

Which it is.

I don't disagree there. But seeing as how Splatoon and other online games came out long before Nintendo's online system was in place, I'm giving them a little leeway. If newer games (like say Splatoon 3?) come out and don't have dedicated servers, I'll be a little miffed myself.

I'd be more miffed for online multiplayer people if the same "no cloud saves for Splatoon 2" situation will happen to more games in the future. I mean, you get to pay for a feature that is supplied to nearly every other game on the system but not those who make of the competitive online modes such a huge part of the experience?!?

Right, and the issue is related actually. The issue is that it's P2P and they save all that information locally on your device, allowing you to restore a previous rank via a save backup.. But with dedicated servers they would save all the data on the server, thus preventing that problem.

All things I'm expecting get fixed in a future iteration, and if not... well... it won't be a good time for Nintendo.

Sun Feb 10 19 07:55pm
Rating: 1

Dedicated servers are better for large-scale online games, not 1v1. Logically speaking, servers would make the lag worse in 1v1.

In fighting games it's particularly difficult; all the clients have to agree on it being the same frame because the gameplay mechanics demand such precision in regards to player positions and frame-bound hit boxes. Many other genres allow there to be a little bit more "play" in the action, allowing the clients to interpolate player positions which masks mild lag.

Makes you wonder why Nintendo never really wanted to do much online in the first place.

Sun Feb 10 19 02:43pm
(Updated 1 time)

it also confirmed that this was prerecorded and not live as it said which really sucks lol

Not fully NOA's fault sadly. It works fine in Japan because of their internet speeds and whatnot but over here P2P in any game not 1V1 like Smash is a terrible idea, so while NES games and 1v1 smashes are fine anything over that can be hell if one person has a bad connection. Combine that with Switch's shitty wireless signal only liking 5GHZ signals over 2.4 ones, and anyone with the latter will have lag even on wired connections. It's a mess and I'm shocked the switch hasn't had a major revision to fix all those faults yet, with the wireless chip. That would be a big improvement already. Sadly, NCL is very naive, stubborn and close-minded and doesn't seem to think anything outside of Japan would be any different when regards to the Switch Online (Which explains why Japanese reception is positive while everywhere else hates it)

Is the Japanese reception really that good? I know that I've heard the Japanese reception of the phone app is the reason why the rest of the world doesn't get in-game voice chat, but why exactly is it so positive? Even if having generally faster internet allows them better connections, there's really nothing else they are upset about? NSO would still be bad if the only thing added were dedicated servers, so what's the appeal to them?

Honestly, I don't think servers would mean anything either. People just want them since the word server makes people think "performance upgrade" which is what NSO needs most.

And yes. For the most part, Japanese reception is far better than everywhere else. I know when the NES app was announced, I browsed Twitter and saw what the Japanese thought of it (since I found it stupid how everyone got the same games in a month, and only 3 at that while Wii U VC got a bunch weekly over in Japan) yet somehow they really liked it due to nostalgia, famicom controller, and online play.

My guess is that since Wii U/3DS VC games bombed VERY hard in Japan (if it wasn't a first party game, it barely charted and almost no miiverse posts were ever made for any community save for foreigners begging for it to come out over there) they went with the NSO/Classic model so that the people in Japan would be more willing to buy games in bulk rather than by piece, whereas over here VC sold a ton, with NA being the most successful region for that stuff. That also explains why all the likes on the JPN videos outpace the dislikes, while in the US videos they're universally panned. (JPN vids do get some dislikes from westerners looking at those vids, obviously)

As for the phone app, Again, I only know what I saw from the reactions to the NES app, but the idea of VC seemed to be well-liked over there due to how phones were common and how everyone had it at the ready, so it was easy to set up. I know that nobody seemed to be fond of HORI's setup or the one NES/SNES game a month deal they planned back in 2017, so that may be why those two things improved.

I have a feeling they know of western reception already, but why they don't just upgrade it so it works worldwide/the NES/SNES stuff is more frequent, IDK. Surely someone at NOA knows how annoying this service is when the only thing that works exceptionally well is the Cloud Save feature.

Sun Feb 10 19 03:43pm
Rating: 1

If they don't want this to be a problem, then they need to invest in dedicated servers for these games.

psi wind
Sun Feb 10 19 04:32pm
(Updated 1 time)

No, you'd need a mix at best. 1v1 no items can do dedicated, but anything else actually would be better on P2P

Huh? what have items to do with it? It's the extra ping you add by connecting to a server that makes 1v1 with a server worse than p2p...

In any case, the only thing that might help with 1v1 matches (besides people improving their own internet connection) could be improvements in the netcode to reduce the latency of sending data and processing incoming data. Other than that there's really not much you can do to prevent lag in 1v1 games.

Also, a server will never fix a bad internet connection. It'd just make sure those that have a good connection won't suffer from one person's bad connection.

It's unfortunate many people are just blindly thinking dedicated servers are the holy grail of online gaming.. They can really only fix so much...

psi wind
Sun Feb 10 19 11:39pm
Rating: 1

Oh, you're right. I had the one that would be better on dedicated confused. Yeah, anything more than 2 players would benefit with dedicated, but 1v1 is best on P2P

Ehm I think you had it right the first time.. Right now your comment has it backwards! ;-)

My question was why you specified "no items".. Items should not influence things...

The rest was just me going deeper into the subject.. Not feedback on what you said ;-) ^.^

Sun Feb 10 19 07:58pm
Rating: 1

A server won't fix bad internet. Your opponent will still lag the game regardless.

Frankly for 1v1 a server would add latency.
A bad internet connection will always make that player lag and in the worst case jump around the screen..

With more players than 1v1 a dedicated server can be useful for the other players since their inputs gets updated at the speed of their own connection to the server rather than the speed of the host's connection.

With peer to peer if the player with the bad connection isn't the host themselves it won't affect the other player's (except for his own character showing lag). In the worst case the laggy player loses connection and disappears from the match while the rest continues on.

If the laggy player is the host of a multiplayer game however it will affect everyone and the whole match will be a lag-fest. :-) >.< Those are the moments people are going to complain about.

In any case, as far as I know implementing dedicated servers for non-1v1 multiplayer in a game that initially uses p2p means rewriting large parts of the netcode to work with a server. That's very costly so I doubt that will happen for existing games any time soon...
(especially with a good number of people not getting NSO because it doesn't have dedicated hosting servers, meaning NSO revenue and budget will build up slower)

In the meantime we'll have to deal with what we have..

Wasn't there talk about that Spla2n's design meant it will stay p2p since it would be very expensive and costly to redo it all? Wouldn't that be the same with Smash Ultname? Think it was when the talk was about not being able to send those save files to the NOS cloud...

This is now Nintendo's most viewed Twitch clip. Amazing. Assuming they can't purge that like they sometimes purge comments/dislikes on their YT channel.

I seen this clip a few hours ago on their site, but it's mad. I clicked on the link just now and the comments are literally flowing in every few seconds. As it stands, it's been viewed over 200,000 times on Twitch.

Good. Let the world see how shitty their online is.

Sun Feb 10 19 05:55pm
Rating: 3

I don't think it's even their online, but more of their reaction to it, which was to just hide it and deflect

Sun Feb 10 19 06:13pm
Rating: 1

That is my problem with it. Lag is to be expected with online games. It looks way worse on them to try and hide it.

I was watching this at the time and it was insane when they cut away. The lag was a pain to sit through too.

why does this video just auto play on me?

it's because Twitch sucks


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