Remember last March when I mentioned video games you could stream from a server to a thin client? Here's some of what I wrote:

Imagine buying or subscribing to a game online that pipes nothing more than visual information to your local view screen, reconfigures the interface dynamics of the game to match the size and interactive capacity of said interface, then lets you engage at whatever level you like without worrying whether you have the latest graphics processor or sound card or CPU.

"This is likely to never happen," responded one user.

"There is no way that there will be a company that can provide bandwidth of that magnitude," warned another.

Ready for infernal regions to get frosty and battalions of pigs with wings?

Looks like it is going to happen after all, courtesy a little cloud supercomputing wizardry at AMD.

At the Consumer Electronic Show presently unfolding in Las Vegas, AMD divulged plans for a client-server solution that would deliver "graphically-intensive applications" to "virtually any type of mobile device with a web browser without making the device rapidly deplete battery life or struggle to process the content."

According to AMD:

The AMD Fusion Render Cloud will transform movie and gaming experiences through server-side rendering -- which stores visually rich content in a compute cloud, compresses it, and streams it in real-time over a wireless or broadband connection to a variety of devices such as smart phones, set-top boxes and ultra-thin notebooks.

By delivering remotely rendered content to devices that are unable to store and process HD content due to such constraints as device size, battery capacity, and processing power, HD cloud computing represents the capability to bring HD entertainment to mobile users virtually anywhere.

What's that mean to gamers like you and me?

Streaming video games would upend gaming as we know it. For starters, the technology would challenge the need for offline retail sales, eliminate lengthy software downloads, spiraling local storage requirements, messy DRM software, expensive computer components, and reduce PC hardware driver and code compatibility quirks.

It would theoretically decrease game bugs (see again: "reduce PC hardware driver and code compatibility quirks"), scupper the distinction between "PC" and "console" games entirely, and arguably relegate standalone consoles to dumb set top boxes. (full Story)

This entry was posted on Jan 9, 2009 at 11:36 PM and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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