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Could cloud gaming finally give us real-time ray tracing in games?

Oct 27, 2007
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This is just something that popped into my head today, wondering if anyone is interested in such a discussion.

There is one immutable fact about ray tracing: it's computationally VERY complex, and the complexity rises extremely quickly as features are added (a single frame can take 64+ times longer to render if we incorporate depth of field using Monte Carlo methods, a further 64+ times for area lighting, etc). Real-time ray tracing on a single machine is still a long way away.

On the other hand, we have the cloud gaming provider OnLive successfully running a cloud-based service. So we could run games on arbitrarily advanced systems, in theory. Theoretically OnLive could build farms of super-computers to render ray-traced scenes interactively in a distributed fashion. Of course it wouldn't be cheap, but it seems like an interesting idea to me.

Just mindless musing, but I know that places like Pixar do their rendering in a "cloud"-like environment. Does anyone know if anybody is talking about this kind of thing?

:hmm:
 
Oct 27, 2007
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Latency becomes a major issue. Don't expect this in the next 10 years.
I certainly wasn't thinking it would happen soon. But certainly sooner than ray tracing on our own machines - probably by the time it becomes feasible none of us will be running machines capable of rendering modern games. It will all be in the cloud by that time.

Having said that, latency has apparently not been too much of an issue for OnLive.
 

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