You spilled GTA4 in my Web Browser!

Wow.. This looks amazing.  This guy is playing Grand Theft Auto 4 within a simple web browser.  The game isn’t requiring a fancy expensive card, lots of RAM or CPU or anything, it’s all being rendered live on the server or “Cloud” that he has his Web Browser pointed at.

While he explains there is a little bit of lag, it’s not bad, but frantic FPS games like Unreal Tournament 3 or Counter Strike or something it could be a bit more noticeable.  This demonstration is truly mind boggling.  But, Lets think about what obviously must be happening behind the scheme

Sure, this looks amazing, and it is. I’m not going to water it down, if this thing can sustain that kind of performance, the GPU market could be in real trouble here. think about it, who needs to buy a 300-600 dollar video card if they can play the latest, fancy graphics game over the GoogleZ?! But, let’s think about that, because, no matter what, a power hungry GPU is required by SOMEBODY!(Geforce GTX 295 requires no less then 285w of power, thats just for the card! and Radeon 4890 requires around 200w.) and I’m pretty sure just one of those cards isn’t going to be able to handle 500 people all playing Crysis and Ghostbusters all at the same time.  So there “cloud” is going to have to be insanely powerful in terms of wattage, GPU and RAM…and CPU.  more than any web server right now.  There isn’t some fancy magic that is going to make these games require less than what we had to have to run them, they need that as well, but times a few hundred or thousand.  I don’t see that happening.  More than likely.  What we will have is a “line” or sorts or a “queue”  Where you request to play the game and, maybe depending on your membership? you get to play sooner?.  I don’t see gamers standing for this, but, I don’t see how they could handle such loads on there Renderfarms.  and that is what these would be, much like what PIXAR uses to make there CGI movies.  most 3D games coming out these days require decent video cards.  here’s a little test.  Go ahead and open up one instance of whatever game you have, be it Farcry, Dead Space, even Quake 3 or something.  now open another….AAAnnd another.  and maybe one more.  how does it run now?

Let’s not forget the bandwidth required.  Oh my God!.  Let’s just say it’s about the same amount of data as an HD movie being streamed.  Ok, that’s not horrible right  out of the question on a wireless G though?  now lets take into account that someone playing GTA4 probably isn’t going to just play for 2 hours, it’s probably going to be more like 4 or so (There goes another wrench in the queue system.)  what about multiplayer?  So, you are streaming GTA4 while playing it against someone else, let’s say they are also streaming it.  This is a lot of bandwidth being gobbled up.  I’m not too worried about my end…even though with this much going on in my network, Comcast is bound to take notice and maybe throttle my connectiong or outright cut me off, since, they will do that if you take too much.  I’m more worried about there costs, not only are they needing God like amounts of electricity, but also expensive hardware to keep the service smooth.

And this would have to be buttery smooth.  it would have to play like how the guy in the video is playing, or else what is the point of paying monthly for a service you can’t fully enjoy.  It’s ALL about the controls.  the game could have ass graphics, but if it controls well I would still play it.. (ok, game design counts too.)  But if it looks lush, amazing, and fantastic but controls like a drunk midget trying to make it to your closet because he thinks it’s the bathroom..then.. whats the point? (I’m look right at you when I say this KillZone 2.)

I really hope this service makes it and can do THIS on a daily basis at a reasonable price, this would revolutionize gaming and it looks way more promising than I was expecting, and I’m more then intrigued and fascinated as to how they are going to do all this.

[Video provided by Techcrunch.]

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