A Sneak Peak at The Next Generation of Gaming

By Mike on 6:48 pm

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Is it a little early to talk about the eighth or ninth generation of gaming consoles? We all know that they're probably already working on the next Xbox or Playstation as we speak. When the Xbox 360, Wii and PS3 were released in 2005 and 2006 respectively, they represented a quantum leap over past consoles. They changed the way we played games, handled our media, but most importantly they introduced us to high definition gaming. (With the exception of the Wii.) Polyphony Digital has given us a sneak peak at what might be coming next. Today, you can already play your games at gorgeous 1080p. However, there is a new technology on the horizon known as QFHD. Basically, it's four times the resolution of 1080p, bumping the resolution from 1920x1080 pixels up to 3840x2160. It is also known as 2160p.

Polyphony showed a time trial demo of Gran Turismo 5 running at 2160p on a giant 220'' screen. They accomplished this by syncing four Playstation 3 consoles together, each rendering one quarter of the image. The final result was shown using Sony's professional cinema grade SRX-S110 SXRD projector, which is one of the few commercially available units that can operate at 2160p. A second tech demo showed GT5 running back at 1080p, but at 240 frames per second. This was once again done using four synced PS3s and Sony's Nano-Spindt Field Emissions Display (FED), a technology similar to cathode ray tubes. 240fps is actually faster than the human eye can process, meaning that motion on the screen will appear perfectly smooth. At this kinds of resolution and frame rate, there is little differentiating the game from reality, especially as real time graphics approach near photoreal quality. When we reach this point, only the 2D nature of displays will offer a clear separation of fantasy from reality. This will most likely be the future of gaming; a likely reality within the next 10 years. We already have the technology. It's just tying it together and making it affordable for the average consumer.

As a side note, this already is possible in gaming applications on PC using multiple monitors and several network synchronized systems. A setup like that would likely cost in excess of $20,000, as I estimate Polyphony's did. Most games are not designed to run at those resolutions though and will require special software to do it. Microsoft Flight Simulator is one of the few that can.

Source: IGN

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