Virtual in the Cloud? Cinematic quality 3D rendering in a browser? For real?
So last week a lil’ ol’ controversy cropped up regarding a video that LivePlace, owned by Brad Greenspan of MySpace fame, posted but says wasn’t supposed to be posted or made public…alas it got out there and the virtual community went a bit nuts trying to answer the question queried with the video,”Live or Virtually Live?” Read the blow-by-blow on TechCrunch.The video showed a virtual city that was billed as generated using the OTOY rendering system. While LivePlace and what it is, is still TBD and ambiguous, the OTOY technology behind it is 100% real and very exciting. OTOY is a technology that moves 3D gaming rendering to the cloud, which would enable superior graphics on old computers and handheld devices where 3D rendering has traditionally not been possible or a good experience. The only unfortunate I see with this concept (well depending on how you look at it, as it is certainly memorable) is the acronym, GaaS…gaming as a service. Watch OTOY in action…Not to knock any of the web based virtual worlds out there but this technology is just kicking their butts if you want a realistic, graphically rich environment…ala Second Life…but via your browser instead of an application. Not to say that the not as graphically intensive/less photo-realistic 3D web based destinations don’t have merit. I am eager to explore all these options to learn and see what types of audiences these spaces draw and how they differ and/or are the same. Hence the reasons we are hosting our Google Lively event next Tuesday, August 26th from 0900-1100 PDT; learn more about and join the event.With all this 3D web enabled, cloud driven graphic rendering and what not I can’t help but wonder does this signal the beginning of the end for all those walled garden gaming consoles? Could I really be looking at reducing my power draw, and I mean significantly so, in the near future by reducing the stack of gaming machines I have to just the single PC? Now before you folks reading this get all crazy, I realize the PC takes up more power than my Wii and is comparable to my XBOX 360 and PS3 when compared one to one but if I could eliminate all three and have just the PC different story…read for yourself. Pretty sure my sister would be ecstatic if this would happen as then my nephew might not be clamoring for an upgrade every time a new console launches and he could do his homework on it as well. Would that be the perfect gaming world?