Future Tech: PC Gaming

What is the Future of gaming on PC going to be like? We gaze into the crystal ball to clear the mist and try to bring technologies and innovation of the cominh years into better focus. One thing’s for sure: The Future of gaming looks bright.

Motion Controllers to Gather Steam-

Nintendo successfully pioneered the latest fad catching the attention of console gaming masses: the motion controller. The Wii remote spurred motion sensing rivals from Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox, in the form of hte Move and Kinect, respectively. And increasingly, a lot of console game titles require you to make use of a motion controller for at least some part of hte game – like Killozone 3.

But so far these motion controllers have been limited predominantly for gaming consoles. But we’re seeing some ripples in the PC gaming market, as far as motion controllers are concerned.

Richard Marks, the creator of Sony PlayStation’s Move, belives using two Moves simultaneously will open up a whole host of possibilities for gamers and developers alike. Imagine a boxing game which makes use of both hands and other sports games which aren’t optimally exploited by just one motion controller, and you can see why Marks’ vision is enticing.

The Razer Hydra is just what Marks was thinking . The Hydra comes with twomotion sticks that uses magnetic tracking with a base station, and Valve’s recently launched Portal 2 had some exclusive content to showcase the possibilities of the Razer peripheral. Now it’s just a matter of Logitech, Cooler Master, and other manufacturers hopping on the bandwagon and PC game developers taking note of the opportunity.

The consoles will keep refining the motion controller, but we will start seeing games for the Windows platform and PC tuned to exploit motion sensing peripherals like the Razer Hydra.

Console-Less Gaming –

Where motion controllers will be rethought, re-visited and refined, i thik the immediate gaming future to be controllerless, kinda like the Microsoft Kinect where you are the center of attention – not some electronic wand clutched in your palm.

But a parallel line of thought envisions a console-less gaming experience in the near future. Companies like ASUS and PrimeSense – the maker of Kinect’s 3D sensor – have teamed console and controller – free gaming a reality on the PC. Enter WAVI Xtion, a Kinect- like device that aims to put you and your gestures in the thick of gaming on a PC near you in a few months.

At the time of writing this there are indications that ASUS and PrimeSense may not just restrict the WAVI Xtion for gaming alone but there’s a plan to introduce gesture-enabled apps to interact better with your HDTV, stream full-HD 1080p videos wirelessly from the WAVI boxes,  and even interact remotely with a PC sitting in the other room.

Developer kits for the WAVI Xiton will encourage a healthy number of apps for consumption on your PC as well as HDTV and gamers will also follow suit.

3D –

Forget blockbuster movies you’ve watched in three dimensions at the nearest cinema hall, James Cameron director of Avatar – which single-handedly brought 3D back into popular imagination – thinks the gaming industry will drive the growth it into people’s homes. And the impact will be felt on PC gaming as well, not just HDTV’s or handheld devices.Urging this 3D revolution of sorts will be a whole host of technological breakthorughs achieved on the processor and graphics processing unit os a PC. Nvidia has led the charge of penetrating 3D technology for mainstream and high-end PC gaming with its 3D Vision Kit, which is a combination og GPU, 3D glasses, software and certified high refresh rate monitors and displays. All this when combined with a stedily burgeoning “3D ready” library of game titles, and you can see why everyone – not just James Cameron – is so excited about the potential of 3D gaming on PCs.

Nvidia’s latest 500 series of Fermi GPUs support steroscopic 3D gaming, so do the latest gaming laptops scheduled to launch by HP, Dell Alienware, Sony, and ASUS. What about AMD i hear you ask? if you thought Nvidia’s rival in the d gaming’s arms race is sitting quiet, you souldn’t be more wrong AMD’s approach to 3D gaming on the PC, called AMD HD3D, is different from Nvidia’s 3D Vision. Where Nvidia opts for active shutter glasses, which work with the PC, AMD has allowed their latest Radeon 6000 series graphics to support passive 3D which will eventually do away with any sort of special glasses or head gear.

Since AMD doesn’t use the same active shutter technology for stereoscopic 3D as Nvidia Radeon GPUs will need special monitors to make visuals leap off the screen. Right now, there’s only a handled of device  manufaturers which support the TriDef’s stereoscopic 3D software deployed on AMD Radeon GPUs. But expect that number to grow, if AMD continues to dominate the GPU market in the coming years.

If Nvidia brought the first tangible, mass amrket 3D kit for enjoying 3D gaming on your PC, then AMD has raised the bar a bit higher by bringing 3D Blu-ray decoding to HDTVs via HDMI 1.4a connectors- Nividia only has a software alternative for now.

As far as the library of gaming titles for stereoscopic 3D gaming on the PC goes, it will ony gain ground. Sadly a cure for 3D eyestain seems unlikely to arrive anytime soon.

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