Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Square Enix: Cloud Instrumental to Next Gen

In an interview, Square Enix's worldwide technology director Julien Merceron praised cloud storage and cloud computing, and said platform holders must include it in the next generation of consoles.

"When it comes down to future hardware platforms, and official home consoles, I think it's going to be instrumental," he said.

"I think it has tremendous benefits. I don't see any good reason not to investigate for platform holders how they could actually think about cloud storage and cloud computing for their next platforms."

He sees huge opportunities not just for designers and asynchronous game play, but as a way of avoiding costly hardware updates altogether.

"If you imagine a platform that would basically have cloud computing capabilities, for example, then why would you eventually need to change the hardware? Because actually what you then just do is basically change the back end to be more powerful."

In his interview he also spoke about the ways the cloud could change game play, and connect separate devices in ways that go beyond simple OnLive and Gaikai style game streaming.

"I think it's going to change also the way players interact together, and the way NPCs are designed," he suggested.

"You could potentially have NPCs in your game that play like your friends, or like some of your friends. So I think cloud storage will actually have a huge impact in terms of gameplay, game design, artificial intelligence, etcetera. It's also going to allow players to play an experience almost on any platform, if they want to, and that's a big changer both for the business and for the games."

Merceron is attending Cloud Gaming Europe, which is currently underway in London.


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