Thursday, 15 September 2011

Square Enix head Yoichi Wada sees a gaming future in the clouds

Tokyo Game Show 2011 is officially on, with yesterday's keynote, delivered by Square Enix prez Yoichi Wada, kicking things off. Square Enix is a strong partner of OnLive, among other titles they've released Deus Ex: Human Revolution on the OnLive Cloud Game Service. Despite Mr. Wada's position at the JRPG giant, he's here speaking as the chairman of the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association, which means he had some pretty high level content to get through in his speech. In fact, his keynote is named, "The Nature of the Industry Revolution of Games."

First and foremost, he's all about the cloud. No, not that Cloud, but the one that allows for remote gaming. "I think the cloud is a real revolution," Wada explained. In his eyes, it's got a variety of electronics with "huge processing power" -- processing power that could be harnessed for new gameplay experiences. "If you could concentrate such processing power on the cloud, then there's going to be a huge paradigm shift," he added.

As for when this "paradigm shift" will happen, Wada is less clear. According to his presentation, he expects a move in that direction anywhere between now and 2015. In the meantime, he believes we're only just now experiencing the first in several new waves of change in the game industry.

"There's a surge ... a flood of all these changes that came all at one time," Wada said. "I think we have just experienced the first tide, and we've yet to experience the second or third waves which will happen in the years to come." The first wave, he said, has been the rise of Smartphones and the move away from sheer processing power as a driving force in the game/console sales. He cited examples as the iPhone, the Nintendo DS, and the modern PC as pushing this first wave. But what's next?

While he's not sure, he posited that perhaps hologram-based gaming could be the next step. That may force gamers to return to dedicated game consoles -- it's innovation that's driving the market.

What are we taking from his guess? Wada has clearly seen the future. And it's holodecks.

SOURCE: Joystiq.

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