This week Fb introduced the launch of cloud-streamed video games from Fb Gaming. These are video games that are rendered within the cloud after which streamed to your pc. Cloud-based gaming has been seen by the business at giant as a option to make video games extra broadly accessible by making them playable on much less highly effective . Fb can be betting that someday they’ll have the ability to do the identical for VR.
Fb Gaming’s new cloud streaming performance doesn’t help VR at the moment, nevertheless it’s clear that the corporate is eyeing it up as a part of its roadmap.
Not solely is the corporate’s just-launched cloud streaming service headed by Jason Rubin, a former Oculus govt, however VR cloud streaming is being talked about on the highest ranges of the corporate.
Responding to a query throughout Fb’s most up-to-date quarterly earnings name this week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed the intersection of Fb’s cloud gaming and VR initiatives:
“Over the long run, I feel the VR piece will clearly come into [our gaming strategy] as nicely. A number of the cloud gaming stuff that we’re doing will, in fact, be helpful for VR as nicely, and we’re constructing a giant group round that on Oculus. However [our cloud gaming service]… I do suppose will likely be a really thrilling development alternative and skill to supply plenty of innovation over the approaching years,” Zuckerberg stated.Rubin joined Oculus in 2014 as was a key spokesperson for the corporate’s VR earlier than his position expanded into Fb’s broader gaming initiatives | Picture courtesy Jason Rubin
Jason Rubin, the previous Oculus govt turned ‘VP of Play’ at Fb, laid out the corporate’s cloud-gaming imaginative and prescient this week, opening with a not-so-secretive jab at Google’s cloud streaming service, Stadia:
We consider within the long-term way forward for cloud gaming, however we aren’t going to attempt to wow you with the wonders of our knowledge facilities, compression algorithms, resolutions, or frames per second. Cloud recreation streaming for the plenty nonetheless has a option to go, and it’s necessary to embrace each the benefits and the truth of the know-how moderately than attempt to oversell the place it’ll be sooner or later.
Rubin additionally touched on the truth of recreation streaming latency because it stands at the moment, figuring out that aggressive and VR video games share exceptionally demanding latency necessities which the service isn’t able to deal with simply but.
It’s important for us to start out with latency-tolerant video games so we are able to ship an excellent expertise for gamers throughout a wide range of units. For the needs of our beta, that features genres like sports activities, card, simulation, and technique video games. That is cloud gaming in any case, so even with latency-tolerant video games gamers might discover some glitches. […]
As our beta progresses and cloud know-how scales, we’ll improve the number of recreation genres. That enlargement will begin in 2021 with the addition of motion and journey video games.
Although Rubin doesn’t point out VR within the Fb cloud gaming announcement, he explicitly addressed the it in an interview with Protocol earlier this 12 months:
I can inform you this: No person is banking on cloud processing making standalone VR headsets viable. We’ve to make them viable with the chipsets which are in them. However in the long term, cloud solves plenty of issues as a result of it most successfully places the processing energy the place it’s wanted. Now there’s latency points, decision points, body price points, tons of points. And it’s a hell of much more uncomfortable when it’s a body that’s proper in entrance of your face than it’s if you miss a body on a TV that’s throughout the room. So all of this stuff need to be solved, however nobody thinks it’s inconceivable. It’s a hypothetical that may be performed nevertheless it’s not coming anytime quickly. It is extremely, very sophisticated.
Elsewhere he added, “finally we’ll throw these processors in a server farm someplace and stream to your headset. And lots of people are going to say, ‘Oh my god, that’s one million years away.’ It’s not one million. It’s not 5. It’s someplace between.”
So whereas we don’t count on that the corporate will likely be rolling out VR recreation streaming within the speedy future, the Fb is actively positioning itself to be provide the service additional down the street.
As the one firm within the shopper area with an entire tech stack for VR cloud streaming, the technique appears sound. Whereas different corporations like Amazon, Google, NVIDIA, and Microsoft are constructing out their very own cloud recreation streaming providers, none of them have each a standalone VR headset and a significant VR ecosystem for a whole end-to-end resolution.
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