3D Cloud Gaming (Hardware provided by the Data Center)

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cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
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http://techcrunch.com/2009/06/16/videos-otoy-in-action-you-have-to-see-this/

Here is another OTOY article.

From comments below article said:
What a redundant idea.
lag. licencing issues. broadband requirement. frames/sec. not to mention occasional connection interruption right at the cliff’s edge.
and above all.. WHAT NEED DOES IT SOLVE? Where is the problem? Don’t we all have an adequate GPU? Don’t we all have strong enough PCs? and if we don’t, we really have killer broadband?

Really? game rentals? (throw in micro-payments? mmorpg in the browser? ajax? Adobe AIR? any other buzzwords) … So you mean instead of selling the game on a CD for $60 in store and be done with it, a gaming company will need to buy and host strong servers, pay for electricity, cooling, maintenance, and gazillions for bandwidth serving those games to the users for hours straight straight? Ye! I can see the business model! Real economic winner!

Oh. But it uses the “cloud”.. oh.. so its a brilliant idea. So web2010.3.0

Next.. a company developing streaming solution for Tivo.. so instead of buying a Tivo, you will use a Tivo on the cloud and stream it home. No sound available at the moment.. but what the heck.. it uses the cloud!
(don’t copy the idea! its MINE!)
If a game were programmed primarily for OTOY (not PC), what sort of software would it use? It could use either DX11 or Open GL right?
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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I've come to the striking conclusion that nearly 99-100% of so-called "cloud" computer solutions, are not true cloud computing, they're server-based computing.

A TRUE cloud-computing OS, would essentially merge the client and server, allowing a seamless computing space, where apps and data could migrate between the client and servers at will, according to demand.

I did some work on designing just such a system in the mid-late 90s.
 

v8envy

Platinum Member
Sep 7, 2002
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Not just latency. My Comcast cable ISP does traffic shaping. I can stream one ~2 hour video off the net pause free. The next one will have semi-regular 1 second pauses every 15-20 seconds. And that's the best ISP I can get in this area.

A 1920x1080x32x60fps data feed is a *LOT* of megabytes/second. This implies either very lossy compression, 720p or lower resolution upscaled, 30 fps or lower or all of the above. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. If you send less data you will have less image quality.

If you look at the unofficial reviews you'll see video quality isn't anywhere near as good as even midrange settings. That's a given -- even if we all had 100 megabit pipes to the servers high quality would still require the equivalent of a high end gaming card per customer. That's not happening during peak times.

A good idea on paper, but unless it's free/ad sponsored and just doing pretty casual games (like Second Life, Sims, etc) I can't see it being used.
 

dflynchimp

Senior member
Apr 11, 2007
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Oh really?
Care to explain that?
It would only affect IPS with a bad buisness model...and a congested network.
example: a 5670, a budget/midrange graphics processor, has a bandwidth of 64GB/s

I know most of this is being used to do the computing rather than actually sending out a display signal, but even so, if you treat games like crysis as a sijmple HD movie running at 1080p, you'll need to be able to stream that as a video without interruption, not to mention every input you make will have to be sent to the data center and processed. In a world where we gripe about LCD response times in FPS games, that will only exacerbate the issue.

Also if a home is running more than 1 computer, then you have to divide up the bandwidth even further. LAN would be out of the question since no one has a locally stored (non-bandwidth hogging) copy of the game.


Now, for Cell Phones and the resolutions they run at, this should be fine, but for high end gaming on a PC? not a chance.
 

Lonyo

Lifer
Aug 10, 2002
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http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=859&type=expert&pid=1

Having never played Burnout: Paradise on the PC before I was a bit surprised to find how much BETTER it looked than what I was just playing using OnLive.

Because OnLive is essentially compressing the video stream that is generated locally and sending it out with web standards, blurry video tends to look EXTRA blurry.

The input lag on UT3 was so noticeably bad with the mouse and keyboard that I would call game simply unplayable.

the image quality we were seeing [in UT3] seemed to be much worse. As you know with video compression, existing algorithms tend to produce much better images when the picture is mostly stable and just a bit of the screen is changing on any given frame. If a lot of the image is changing quickly then less image quality can be sustained using the same amount of bandwidth. Chances are you have seen this same issue with locally compressed videos or other streaming web content.
 

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
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example: a 5670, a budget/midrange graphics processor, has a bandwidth of 64GB/s

I know most of this is being used to do the computing rather than actually sending out a display signal, but even so, if you treat games like crysis as a sijmple HD movie running at 1080p, you'll need to be able to stream that as a video without interruption, not to mention every input you make will have to be sent to the data center and processed. In a world where we gripe about LCD response times in FPS games, that will only exacerbate the issue.

Also if a home is running more than 1 computer, then you have to divide up the bandwidth even further. LAN would be out of the question since no one has a locally stored (non-bandwidth hogging) copy of the game.


Now, for Cell Phones and the resolutions they run at, this should be fine, but for high end gaming on a PC? not a chance.
Do you think Internet bandwidth could increase to the point where playing 1080p without much noticeable lag would be possible? If so, how many years are we talking about?
 

bfdd

Lifer
Feb 3, 2007
13,312
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I signed up for beta testing. Looks cool.
I did too, they sent me an email a couple months ago asking me to run something so they could measure my bandwidth. Haven't heard anything, but 10mbit down 1.5mbit up should be more than enough imo.
 

v8envy

Platinum Member
Sep 7, 2002
2,720
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Do you think Internet bandwidth could increase to the point where playing 1080p without much noticeable lag would be possible? If so, how many years are we talking about?
Depends where you live. In the internet backwoods like the United States it could be many, many decades before you get a gigabit or so of data pipe to your house. Even in places like Korea it might be at least a decade or two (judging from products available a decade ago in all 3 markets).

Thing is: people are starting to deprecate the importance of a dedicated PC with a dedicated data line. It's increasingly all about mobile. The PCs of the future will be ever portable, and include your phone, DVR and music library. You'll plop your phone next to some wireless doohikey and get output on your monitor or tv. With mouse and keyboard or without.

Those mobile devices aren't going to be hooked up to a dedicated cable. Which means the ISPs won't be offering the sewerpipe of data at reasonable prices. Wireless bandwidth is a rather precious commodity so you won't be seeing it there either.
 

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
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Thing is: people are starting to deprecate the importance of a dedicated PC with a dedicated data line. It's increasingly all about mobile. The PCs of the future will be ever portable, and include your phone, DVR and music library. You'll plop your phone next to some wireless doohikey and get output on your monitor or tv. With mouse and keyboard or without.
Yep, In one you tube video I even saw a phone being used as a mouse when respect to a image being displayed on a TV screen. It was in the one of the threads over at XS.

Still I have to believe 150 watts worth of desktop will still be useful to some people. But how to make 150 watts, 300 watts and 450 watt levels of hardware useful to more and more people?

How to accomplish this exactly? I have no clue, but I suspect a certain subset of people in the world may be more naturally geared towards interactive 3D forms of learning than text based learning. I also think developing a system of open competition for 3D learning might also be a good idea, but it needs to be fun/friendly competition.
 
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v8envy

Platinum Member
Sep 7, 2002
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Count me in as one vote against turning young children into computer zombies. Mine are quite happy and healthy interacting with a real 3d world, thankyouverymuch. They still find it exciting, challenging and interesting. I take great pains not to rot their brains with TV or a computer.

Why would you WANT a great big power sucking appliance in people's homes? It's better to reduce our energy consumption rather than divert ever more resources for something as frivolous as home computing.
 

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
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Count me in as one vote against turning young children into computer zombies. Mine are quite happy and healthy interacting with a real 3d world, thankyouverymuch. They still find it exciting, challenging and interesting. I take great pains not to rot their brains with TV or a computer.
I think children interacting with the real world is awesome. Isn't that everyone's goal? But what if it is snowing outside? What happens when the sun goes down?

Can't we extend their learning time? How would 3D learning be any worse for them than reading a book? (Please realize I am not against reading books.)
 

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
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Why would you WANT a great big power sucking appliance in people's homes? It's better to reduce our energy consumption rather than divert ever more resources for something as frivolous as home computing.
I agree that it is better to reduce our energy consumption. But why can't computer hardware be used to solve problems? Alternative energy simulations? Farming simulations?
 

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
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One thing I like is home/urban gardening. Kids seem to like it too.

But I would like to make my growing season more productive and strategic. Maybe a graphical 3D simulation helps me plan ahead and reduce waste?

I want to plan my plantings so viruses and disease are reduced. How could 3D graphical imaging help me manage my garden space so this is better accomplished?

Where should I plant my fruit trees and blueberries? How does the shade they produce affect my other fruits and vegetables? Do I need cross-pollination for better yields? If so, what varieties do I need to select? Do these varieties help me stagger my harvest so it doesn't all come within the same month?

Which plants do better in the heat? Which do better in the shade? Which do better with lower ph soil? Have the varieties I selected so far fit into these parameters.

After everything is set-up like dominos. I would like to hit "enter" on my keyboard to see all the plants fill in the garden space on my screen. A couple of months into the simulation I could harvest one area and then fill in the newly vacated space with plants growing at higher density from another part of the garden. Then hit "enter" again and watch this new area fill in.

The more variables I can effectively analyze with my computer the better my chances of increasing my yields of good tasting fruits and vegetables.

That is just one example of what a fun educational program could be. I am positive there a lot of other possibilities far more interesting than that. I just happen to like gardening myself.
 
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WraithETC

Golden Member
May 15, 2005
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I'm in the beta and some games work fine and others not as much. The visual quality is nothing like playing a game at 720p natively on your computer though. Its like streaming 'HD' on youtube versus a good blu ray.
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
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No chance it will take off. It's going to fail. To do what they say they are going to do, they would need very near a 1:1 servers to customers ratio. No chance they will have the money for that. Can you think of even one company that has as many servers as it has customers?

Then there's the latency issue to consider.

It's not like PC gaming is so hard or expensive to do that tons of people can't afford it and are desperate to play PC games. A $50-60 video card in a $400 desktop PC will play every single PC game ever made at medium quality settings. The PC doesn't even offer very many exclusives worth playing anymore either. Why would someone put up with all of the hassles that will inevitably plague On Live when they could just buy a console or a video card?
Exactly. The sad part is the graphics pushed out are only 720p...which is frankly considered a low end resolution in PC games these days. PC hardware has never been cheaper, but the broadband infrastructure in the United States is archaic. It offers no real value to a customer in the US, you have to heap your gaming experience entirely on the weakest component: The network. In exchange you get 720p with compression artifacts and input lag that will put the worst LCD to shame.

It could potentially work in Korea or something where there's a real broadband infrastructure and short physical distances. But in the end, to an end consumer, it's just basically just a crappy game console with a monthly fee that you need a broadband connection to use at all. A better and easier idea than this would have just to release a game console with a keyboard and mouse standard.
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,706
532
126
Oh really?
Care to explain that?
It would only affect IPS with a bad buisness model...and a congested network.
So it would affect all major ISP's in the US, most of which have a monopoly in their local areas. :p
 

Borealis7

Platinum Member
Oct 19, 2006
2,892
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like it or not, i think that it is the future for several reasons.
one major reason is that it would make piracy virtually extinct. you can't pirate a game you can only launch through a client window. so game publishers will push for this method, plus they can squeeze money from you on an hourly basis or get you to subscribe for a flat-rate.
it might not happen in the next few years though, so i'm not holding my breath.
 

Cogman

Lifer
Sep 19, 2000
10,277
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No, it won't work. The computational load will be too big, and then there is the whole "Speed of light" issue. Not only would they need a butt load of servers, but they would need those servers in (or at least within 10 miles of) every city before they could completely negate latancy issues.

Don't forget, they don't just have the overhead of running each game per client, they also have the overhead of recording, compressing, and sending out the video data as well. Compression, good compression, requires LOTS of computational power, and to get the biggest market they are going to need it.

Again, three things that will make this fail.
Speed of light, they can't surpass it.
Bandwidth, they will need loads of it.
Computational power, they need tons of it, more then the home PC would need.
 

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
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Can someone explain how small 2U enclosures can hold up to four dual slot Video cards?

Are the video cards directly attached to the mainboard through the expansion slots?

Or is an alternative method being used (cables, expansion boards housing multiple slots etc)
 

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