We are entering the culmination of the next generation of gaming consoles, and as the generation moves forward, so must the technology. As the booming presence of online gaming defined the seventh generation, it is cloud processing that is making a bid to define the eighth generation.
Using the internet in ways that we never though possible before, we can improve the gaming experience for everyone by taking some of the work off of the console and having it done by the cloud of computers on the internet.
One of the things that has been promised from the cloud is the ability to boost the graphical quality of a game beyond the limitations of the hardware on the console playing that game.
Now we’ve seen services like Gaikai and OnLive that stream high quality graphics to you, but can we actually use the cloud to make the graphics better? Mark Cerny, an architect who helped design the PS4, doesn’t think so. In the above interview with IGN he points out what can and can’t be done with the cloud, and why he doesn’t have hopes for the cloud being used to make games look better.
To the extent that it’s possible to do computing in the cloud, the PlayStation 4 can do computing in the cloud. Today matchmaking is done in the cloud and it’s done very well. If we think about things that don’t work well; trying to boost the quality of the graphics…that won’t work well in the cloud
It sounds somewhat admonishing when you hear Cerny say those words. The cloud is capable of some fantastic things, but it is still a limited service when you think about it.
The kind of computing that needs to be done in the cloud in order to boost graphics could potentially be possible so long as the user has a good enough internet connection to constantly receive all that data.
Users like myself who are still stuck with less than 1MB connection aren’t going to be able to do all that. It’s a wonderful promise to make, and it has potential, but it still alienates a large number of users who don’t have access to the kind of internet connection that this much cloud computing would demand.