On the coattails of the now infamous PlayStation Error 8001050F, yesterday was the 10th anniversary of Sony’s release of the world-altering PlayStation 2. An event as momentous as this reflects on the gaming world of yesteryear. Not too long ago concepts like “online gaming” seemed promising at best, gimmicky and irrelevant at worst.
But today the gaming world is a different beast entirely. The success, or failure, of modern consoles is intrinsically intertwined with their online capabilities and their ability to access and appropriately utilize what is now referred to as the “cloud.”
This isn’t anything drastically new. We’ve all heard of, and interacted with, the “cloud.” But ask major players in the world of technology, and they’ll tell you the dependence of modern computing on the cloud is only going to increase. “In three years time, desktops will be irrelevant. In Japan, most research is done today on smart phones, not PCs,” said Google’s John Herlihy speaking at the recent Digital Landscapes Conference at University of California, Davis [Silicon Republic]
Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer also spoke recently about the cloud, using Xbox Live TV as an example of how media devices will expand both in usability and connectivity [Gizmodo]. Streaming of television shows, movies, and music are already the status quo. At last year’s GDC shockwaves were sent throughout the gaming world when OnLive game streaming was presented. Utilizing powerful computers on their end, games traditionally requiring high-end gaming rigs could now be streamed over broadband internet connections to virtually any computer. They also plan to sell a device to connect directly to your television, which will be playing the part of a console without the size, and most likely a smaller price tag.
“When users launch games on the OnLive service, we actually transition the user from server to server, to provide users with state-of-the-art performance. To create that instantaneous load experience, the game has to be running already, and this is where the OnLive SDK enters the picture, allowing us to dynamically bind in the user’s data, effectively pushing load times down to zero.” – Joe Bentlely, Director of Games and Media Development
The service is currently still in Beta and they will be hosting another session at GDC this year. With the implementation of faster and more readily accessible data connections, services like OnLive game streaming could be on the brink of ubiquity.The "Cloud" and Gaming,