Streaming games from the cloud is a technology that’s a few years old now, but one of the companies pushing the space forward wants to help foster the next generation of cloud gaming.
New York-based Shinra Technologies announced today that it’s launching a “prototype accelerator” that will work with partner studios on creating innovative new games that use the cloud. The company wants to help studios come up with new ideas and concepts that are potentially only possible with Shinra’s “supercomputer” streaming tech. Shinra is already working with République developer Camouflaj in this program.
In a statement, Shinra senior vice president Jacob Navok said his team wants to work with developers that have “established track records of quality game production,” but these studios also have to have an ambition to try something new. Ideally, Shinra wants to work with developers that have come up against frustrations and limitations when working with today’s hardware.
Camouflaj founder Ryan Payton said that Shinra’s prototype program will enable his team to explore ideas that “consumer devices simply cannot power.” But with the cloud, nearly any device could potentially handle a game with state-of-the-art visuals. Payton went on to say that it’s not just about graphics — although he did not specify how Shinra’s technology would improve other aspects of gaming.
Shinra is in a testing phase for its cloud infrastructure in Japan. The company plans to launch a similar test later this year in the United States. The startup has a close relationship with established game publisher Square Enix, and it is streaming releases like Final Fantasy VII and Tomb Raider as part of the beta. By working with developers on new ideas, however, it is obviously interested in positioning Shinra as a place for unique and new experiences as well.
This is not the only company using cloud technologies in the gaming sector. OnLive, the company that kicked off the idea of streaming games over the Internet, is still operating and offering console-quality releases on its service. Sony and Microsoft also both use the cloud, but in different ways. Sony introduced its PlayStation Now program that lets you rent PS3 games on your PS4 or Vita. Microsoft’s Xbox One cloud enables developers to get extra horsepower out of the machine by running some tasks on a remote server. This has so far taken the form of improved artificial intelligence in games like Titanfall and Forza Motorsport 5.