Square Enix has announced it’s working on a new architecture for cloud gaming, tentatively titled Project Flare, which is currently set to be launched two or three years from now. Project Flare will leverage a number of servers tied together as a “virtual supercomputer” to compartmentalise various types of processing, a boost in power the company thinks will “revolutionise the way users interact”.
Square Enix’s director of business development Jacob Navok spoke to Polygon about the different approach the company is taking to existing services like Gaikai and OnLive.
“So up until now when we’ve talked about cloud gaming, we’ve mostly talking about streaming games. They weren’t really cloud games to us. Gaikai, OnLive and the other companies were just putting a console in the data center. They weren’t actually changing anything about it. There was a shift in the distribution model, there was a shift in the business, but there wasn’t a shift in the game design. It wasn’t a shift in technology.”
In order to demonstrate the “shift in technology”, Square rigged up a version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution that contained a tower of cardboard boxes several-hundred high. The demonstrator then shot out the bottom box and naturally, the rest went flying in an impressive manner at a decent frame rate, something Square purports would have brought any current console or PC to its knees.
“Now we’re not saying the next Deus Ex game is going to be Deus Ex: Boxes, but you can imagine what we could do if these weren’t just boxes but people or NPCs or enemy characters or lots and lots of robots flying. We could possibly achieve real-time battles that look like battles in the Lord of the Rings movies.”
Another demo was a version of Final Fantasy XI in which you saw the game from the perspective of every party member at once. While Ubisoft has already contributed its Arcus technology to the project, Square is seeking additional partners for Project Flare among technology creators, developers and publishers. Interested parties should check out Square’s kind of new-age website for the project.