Monday, October 12, 2009

Playing GTA 4 in your browser

TechCrunch article to accompany the video.

GTA 4 is rendered externally by OTOY, and being played in a browser. This means that you could play this or Crysis on your iPhone, or anything, as long as it supports html. If this works and is affordable it means no need for a powerful pc anymore.
However it might also mean that game piracy becomes impossible. If developers only release games via these streaming services, you won't be able to play them without paying. Besides the graphics might be so good that even if you could download it, you couldn't play it.

OnLive is another service that is attempting to deliver something similar.


annom said...

The questions is whether screen resolution (and GPU power to support that resolution) will grow faster than internet bandwidth. If GPU power and screen resolution grow faster than internet bandwidth, the best quality will always come from your personal card.

Historically, internet bandwidth will win. It doubles faster than the number of pixels on your screen.

cybrbeast said...

Yes, I doubt that will be the bottleneck.
Maybe home GPUs will become powerful enough and quickly enough that these services won't be necessary.
However I don't think home GPUs will offer photo realistic graphics in the near future, whereas this might.
Also I think it's a more efficient use of GPUs, because in your home computer they barely do anything unless you're gaming or watching an HD movie.

annom said...

Well, I'm not so sure about that. I prefer 60fps at 1900x1200. Let's say a compressed 1900x1200 image is 2mb, that already means 120 MByte/sec. That is 50x more than we have right now.

It will take some time.

cybrbeast said...

I don't agree with your calculation. I have Batman Begins on my computer in 1080p at 24fps. It is 8GB and is 140min long. So I think at 60fps 8GB/hour is enough.
That comes down to 2.2MByte/sec

Video compression works a lot differently than image compression. It's not just running sequential images, it takes information of the previous frame(s) which doesn't change (much) and uses it in the next frame.

annom said...

Well, I don't agree with the comparison between movies and games.

"it takes information of the previous frame(s) which doesn't change (much) and uses it in the next frame."

Yes I know, but games aren't like movies (my mother can look at a movie, but gets sick when watching me playing a shooter). 60fps is more noticeable/required in games, because of the rapid movements (at least for shooters). I don't want to drop to 10fps when I'm bunny hopping around while making 180 degree turns that you would never see in a movie (because of the low fps, they can't do that in movies).

In movies they can also use a higher data rate for high dynamic parts, they could do the same for games, but that still requires a max bandwith for the peak speeds.

Moverover, compressing and decompressing 60fps real time will only add to the challenge and ping.

An then, in about 10 years we have 3D gaming with 60 fps per eye and screens of 5000x3000 pixels.

cybrbeast said...

True a game can't be compressed as much as a movie, but still a whole lot more than the compression you are suggesting at 120MByte per second.
Besides I'd rather play a game that looks like the movie Matrix in 720p than a game in 1080p or higher that looks like Crysis or something.
We'll just have to see I guess.

annom said...

Very true.