Carl Jones, director of global business development at Crytek, has said that predictions of a gaming future based in the cloud are unlikely to come to fruition until ISPs make improvements to network infrastructure.
In an interview, Jones tells us that he already sees evidence that the industry is headed towards the cloud, with tablets, phones and consoles all becoming more PC-like. “The details are different, the operating systems are different, but fundamentally that’s what we’re looking at,” he says. “And as we potentially move towards servers and clouds, it may be that the device itself becomes less relevant, and ultimately you’ll be running on a low-end PC.”
But while the technology required to stream the likes of CryEngine (above) from the cloud is almost there, the infrastructure – in terms of latency if not bandwidth – most definitely isn’t. “It’s not going to be solved any time soon, because unfortunately it’s only really an issue for gaming,” he explains. “The latency levels that are required for 99 per cent of consumer demand are delivered by what we currently have.
“You don’t need better latency for movie streaming, communications… But gaming desperately needs it, and I guess we’re not a big enough force to make the companies that control it improve it. So yes, in principle we’re all looking for a time when the necessity for hard storage isn’t there anymore, but the ability to do it online isn’t there either.”
We spoke to Jones as part of a feature, Building Better Worlds, a glimpse at what games and game engines will look like in 2015 – by which point, he explains, “Anything you see now in movies, you’ll be able to see in realtime.”