Stream it! Stream it all! More ‘power of the cloud’ talk today as Square Enix chairman Yoichi Wada announced Project FLARE, in his words a “technological breakthrough in cloud game architecture.” Squeenix will be partnering with publisher Ubisoft for the project, since a similar project of theirs codenamed Arcus was already underway. They will be pooling their resources to develop a new way to bring high-tech visuals, AI and physics to consoles that even next-gen hardware wouldn’t be able to handle.
While it’s a little hard to describe, the basic process of FLARE or Arcus is that hardware-intensive coding such as ingame physics or lighting (for example) is streamed from the cloud to the player’s console, meaning the data running off the disk can perform smoothly without chugging or dropping frames. This by implication could make a huge number of things possible, such as thousands of AI walking around in a city centre, or as Square Enix showed off in a private demo, livestreaming your friend’s progress in Final Fantasy in a window on your screen, as you continue in your own game.
Square Enix are planning for FLARE to come to all platforms and to as many people as possible when it’s ready, so you’ll no doubt be hearing about cloud gaming plenty in the future. For more info, a walkthrough PDF is available on their site.