Thursday, June 24, 2010
Cloud gaming just works
The last couple of days, I have been reading a lot of impressions from gamers who have tried the OnLive service and I must say that I'm surprised at the amount of positive feedback. Many people don't seem to perceive any lag and the ones that do don't mind it too much and it never makes the games unplayable. I am stunned reading that OnLive works so well, I've been hoping that cloud gaming would work great, but this is even better than I had expected. I thought it would initially be plagued by major lag fluctuations, stuttering, connections shutting down when the service launched, but everything seems fine till now.
When cloud gaming really catches on and other services like OTOY and Gaikai will join the battlefield, these game clouds will have the capability to go beyond what consoles and even high-end PCs can offer in terms of graphics processing:
- insane geometrical detail with e.g. sparse voxel octree raycasting/-tracing for environments and characters
- advanced lighting and global illumination through GPU accelerated raytracing
- physics on every dynamic object
- procedural sound
- more human-like A.I. (just hook up the server to Blue Gene ;-))
This will be imo the ultimate argument to drop restricted console architecture in favor of cloud gaming.
Cloud gaming is also a great way for offering time-limited game demo's, which is Gaikai's main focus: play a demo of a soon to be released game right in your browser. How easy and customer friendly can it get? There are many other options beyond gaming, such as a Facebook-ish virtual reality world (LivePlace powered by OTOY), CAD programs, Photoshop, Matlab, anything compute intensive...
UPDATE: Two interesting short articles on Dave Perry's Gaikai: