Sunday, April 4, 2010

Article: iPad Virtual Worlds

Well, since the world is going crazy over the iPad, I guess I had to at least reference one article. Neat video here, from Techcrunch, of someone playing Crysis using the iPad as a thin-client, displaying the streamed output from a cloud rendered version of the popular game.

Now, I have just spent the last article I wrote, talking about needing to allow people to exchange virtual worlds as documents, to open up their usage in the light of unreliability of access to networking for cloud computing.

The above video makes me hope that we can have reliable high speed wireless networking everywhere, even in the basements of large buildings - I have had access problems at meetings in such dungeons. Such thin-client software opens up the possibility of using high quality virtual worlds on slower hardware as a video streaming device. Network speeds are high enough now that we can see the output from a virtual world system as a streamed video in real-time, thus cutting out the need for a powerful machine as a world client.

Seems this is the bees knees in Games at the moment, with new Game Cloud offerings from OTOY and OnLive. AMD is also working with OTOY on their technology, utilising the amazing capabilities of the cinematic quality LightStage system for real-time photo realistic rendering.

So, apropos of nothing. Does this move of games to the cloud, yet again show how Games and Interactive Entertainment is leading the development of new technology in IT? Will gamers and their insatiable thirst for content actually bring about the wide spread adoption of the new cloud technology? I wouldn't bet my house, but I might bet a few dollars, that a business technology is now going to be taken over by the Gaming field.

The motivation is that one of the biggest pains with new games, is the requirement for new hardware. With cloud forms of games, this hardware maintenance is left to the "Game As a Service" providers. You just buy a small interface client like an iPad for a few hundred dollars.

This is looking very, very disruptive to me.


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