Hexbyte – Science and Tech PlayStation Store Sale Lets You Get PS Plus for Cheap – Game Rant

Hexbyte – Science and Tech PlayStation Store Sale Lets You Get PS Plus for Cheap – Game Rant

Hexbyte – Science and Tech

Typically, an annual subscription to PlayStation Plus costs $60, the price of a brand new triple-A video game. That can be a lot of money for some, especially those who would rather spend that cash on games. However, PS Plus is required on PS4 to play games online, and that combined with its various other perks and bonuses makes it a necessity to have the best experience possible on PlayStation. Luckily, PS Plus is sometimes discounted, giving PlayStation fans the chance to pick up a subscription for a fraction of the cost.

Usually these deals are on Black Friday or through third-party retailers, but the PlayStation Store is currently hosting its own PS Plus deal right now. From now until March 26, as part of the PlayStation Store’s Great Indoors sales event, PlayStation owners can renew their subscription for $45 instead of $60. PS Plus subscriptions stack, so even those whose memberships aren’t up yet can renew and take advantage of the 25% discount.

Being subscribed to PS Plus comes with a wide range of benefits. As previously mentioned, a PS Plus subscription means PS4 owners can play games online, but it also gives them the opportunity to download free games each month. March 2019’s free games are pretty heavy hitters in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered and the critically-acclaimed puzzle game The Witness, so a PS Plus subscription pays for itself before too long.

Hexbyte - Science and Tech playstation-plus-free-games-march-2019-modern-warfare-witness

Another benefit to being a PS Plus subscriber is added discounts. Often, like during the Great Indoors sale, PS Plus subscribers are able to get discounted games even cheaper than those who aren’t subscribed to the service. So those who pick up a lot of games during sales may want to do the math and see if being a PS Plus subscriber would save them money in the long run.

25% off is a pretty good price for PlayStation Plus, but there have been times when the subscription has been even cheaper. PS4 owners should keep an eye out for PS Plus deals throughout the year, as they will likely have multiple opportunities to renew their subscriptions for cheap.

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Hexbyte – Science and Tech Any Steam game can now use Valve’s low-latency, DoS-proofed networking – Ars Technica

Hexbyte – Science and Tech Any Steam game can now use Valve’s low-latency, DoS-proofed networking – Ars Technica

Hexbyte – Science and Tech

One ping only —

43 percent of gamers have enjoyed reduced latency from the network.

Hexbyte - Science and Tech Any Steam game can now use Valve’s low-latency, DoS-proofed networking

Valve is opening up its latency-reducing, DoS-protecting network relay infrastructure to every developer using its Steamworks platform.

A few years ago, large-scale denial-of-service attacks against game servers were making the news and becoming a frustratingly frequent occurrence in online gaming and e-sports. To protect its own games, Valve has for a number of years been working on developing a networking infrastructure that makes the system more resilient against denial-of-service attacks and lower latency to boot, and the company is using this system for both Dota 2 and CS:GO.

At 30 different locations around the world, Valve has established relaying servers that route networking traffic between clients and servers. These relay points provide DoS-resilience in several ways. They’re equipped with an aggregate of several terabits of bandwidth, so they can handle a certain amount of flooding in any case. Games can also switch from one relay to another without necessarily interrupting their connection. This switching can be to another relay in the same location or even to another point-of-presence entirely.

The relaying also enables Valve to mask both the IP address of the game server and the IP addresses of clients connected to the server. This prevents direct attacks against another person on the same server.

Valve’s system also makes decisions about how to route traffic. The company has a private backbone network peered with more than 2,500 ISPs around the world, used for both Steam downloads and game networking traffic, and it prioritizes the network traffic over the downloads. Clients can estimate latency between two endpoints via the relays without having to send any traffic between those endpoints, enabling the clients to make decisions about which point-of-presence to use to ensure the best ping time. Valve says that this has enabled some 43 percent of players to see some reduction in their ping times, with 10 percent seeing an improvement of 40ms or more.

Additionally, Valve operates STUN/TURN servers, which provide a reliable way for machines behind firewalls and network address translation systems to send and receive network traffic.

This relaying system is now available to any developer building a game using Valve’s Steamworks toolkit. The underlying network protocol, without the relaying, has been available as open source for some time. As with many custom network protocols (such as the forthcoming HTTP/3), this is built on the lightweight, unreliable UDP (User Datagram Protocol) rather than the more complex but reliable TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), with custom reliability features built on top of the UDP layer. The protocol is encrypted and handles many of the various tasks required to build reliable transmission over UDP, making it useful even without the Steamworks relaying features.

As a Dota 2 fan, I can report that Valve’s network work seems to have done the job admirably. For a time, attacks were a common feature of the professional scene, with many pro games being disrupted as both players and servers were flooded with traffic. Those same attacks seem to have disappeared entirely.