Another big games company dabbles in dedicated cloud based gaming
We’ve heard EA’s plans to provide a game streaming service and Sony’s betas for PlayStation Now have already rolled out in the US. Now Square Enix has announced at TGS their foray into the cloud with an extension of the company called Shinra Technologies.
A bold mission statement in Shinra’s initial press release reads, “ Shinra intends to change the game industry ecosystem by offering new types of game experiences through Shinra's proprietary cloud technologies.”
Spreading resources across New York, Tokyo and Montreal, Shinra will also partner up with Avalanche Studios (currently working on Mad Max) to collaborate on games and tech.
“Shinra uses its original architecture to offer games with the power of a "virtual supercomputer," thus enabling radically new experiences not possible on PCs or game consoles.” states the release blurb. “All games are streamed as video, and Shinra requires no particular hardware to play its games. Furthermore, Shinra has partnered with world-class infrastructure and network providers to ensure high video quality and minimal latency.”
Beta tests for Square’s new service are due to start in the US and Japan next year and early on the project has competitors looking on with interest.
“Ubisoft has long believed that the cloud will play an important part in gaming’s future,” said Yves Guillemot, CEO and co-founder of Ubisoft. “We are intrigued by the direction Shinra Technologies, Inc. is taking and look forward to seeing what their architecture and technologies can deliver.”
With another big name like Square joining in with the quest for the cloud there opens up an interesting argument as to what happens in the next generation, should games streaming catch on and get rid of the need for a console. Earlier on this year analysts reported that this generation of consoles may be the last, although there have already been hints the big console players are thinking about their next machines.
Given this we expect at least one more (9th) generation of consoles to arrive before gaming seriously takes off into the cloud, better bandwidths and download speeds from IISPs would help this along though.