On the 802.11 Turbulence of Nintendo DS and Sony PSP Hand-held Network Games

On the 802.11 Turbulence of Nintendo DS and Sony PSP Hand-held Network Games


Mark Claypool

In Proceedings of the 4th ACM Network and System Support for Games (NetGames)
Hawthorne, NY, USA
October 2005
Winner! Best paper award.


The growth in computer games and wireless networks has catalyzed the production of a new generation of hand-held game consoles that support multi-player gaming over IEEE 802.11 networks. Understanding the traffic characteristics of network games running on these new hand-helds is important for building traffic models and adequately planning wireless network infrastructures to meet future demand. This paper examines the traffic characteristics of IEEE 802.11 network games on the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP. Analysis of a variety of games from several different genres shows that despite some overall similarities most of the games have significantly different network characteristics. In addition, the games and hand-held platforms differ in their ability to handle degraded wireless network conditions and in the amount of broadcast traffic sent. The results should be a useful beginning to building effective traffic models for this new generation of network games.


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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number CNS-0423362. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recomendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).