When we first looked at OTOY about a year ago, the small company was trying to deliver a server-side 3D rendering technology that could allow modern video games to be played on basically any client. A lofty goal, for sure. Then OnLive was unveiled in March at GDC, and it sent ripples around much of the gaming world with a similar concept of cloud-based gaming (both good and bad). But OTOY believes it has a more lightweight and elegant way to do things, that is also more extensible. And it has a couple of key partnerships to prove it: EA and AMD.
Let’s run through some of the details quickly: OTOY is 100% browser-based, and works is all modern web browsers. All it requires is a broadband connection, and that will give you 720p (HD) graphics, with no plugins and no downloads. There is also a way to get 1080p graphics, though that’s a bit more intensive, obviously. But they key is that this is all done on OTOY’s servers and transmitted down from the cloud to run on whatever client you want, basically instantaneously.
Again, all of that may seem hard to believe in a world where the giant power-hungry systems like the Xbox 360 and PS3 are the only way to play graphic-intensive games. So the best way for you to see it, is to watch a video of it in action. Note that while in the video below, the player is using an Xbox 360 controller, he is playing it on his computer hooked up to his TV. Also note that this demo is being played from a server that is 400 miles away.
Pretty awesome, right? But we’ll understand if you’re skeptical. So here’s a video of our own Jason Kincaid playing a version of the hit title Grand Theft Auto on his computer, through his browser. [Note: At one point, Jason says "one GPU core per instance." But actually we're told that the technology scales so efficiently and cost effectively that you can allow anywhere from a minimum of 10 users per GPU, up to 100 depending on the application.]
And when I said this can basically run on any client, I meant it. Like perhaps your phone — at 60 frames per second. Stay tuned.