Square Enix Gets into Cloud Gaming With Project Flare: Promises to Replace Consoles with “Virtual Supercomputer”

Square Enix Gets into Cloud Gaming With Project Flare: Promises to Replace Consoles with “Virtual Supercomputer”

Square Enix just announced “Project Flare“, a new cloud-based technology dubbed by the company as “A technological breakthrough in cloud gaming.”

According to the announcement the project promises “cloud games powered by virtual supercomputers,” that “will revolutionize the way users will interact with content, and how content is delivered to those users, enabling new experiences.”

The official material provided by Square Enix describes the difference with current game streaming services like Gaikai and OnLive in the fact that those are based on the interaction with a data center, while Project Flare has a peculiar cloud based design akin to a virtual supercomputer.

While game streaming allows only linear scalability and is affected by both game latency and network latency, Project Flare promises to enable “exponential scalability” and should be affected only by network latency.

ProjectFlareSchematic

Here’s a list of official bullet points on what the technology should bring to the table:

  • Deepened immersion (Real-time Hollywood-Quality Animation and Physics).
  • New game designs and features (Video Streams).
  • Richer, more lifelike worlds (Big Data Rendering).
  • The extremes of realism and fantasy(Mass Battles, Crowds, AI).

The official announcement also promises four demos of Project Flare coming this month: “Project FLARE GPU server Density Demonstration”, “Final Fantasy XI on Project FLARE – Concept Video”, “Agni’s Philosophy on Project FLARE” and “Deus Ex: Human Revolution on Project FLARE – Enhanced Physics R&D”.

If you want to know more, you can check out the official presentation in PDF. So far it seems a quite interesting hybrid between cloud gaming and cloud computing, with some promising implications for the future, but we’ll have to wait and see what it’ll bring to the gaming table in practice.