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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blue Mars in the Cloud

--Jim Sink, CEO
--(Originally Posted) April 13, 2010

When we started building Blue Mars, we wanted to create the ultimate platform for developing and experiencing immersive 3D content online. Unlike the console or handheld markets where developers know exactly what hardware resources are available, we had to balance capability with compatibility when deciding what features to build into Blue Mars. Rather than compromising the potential of the platform so that it would run on thin clients and legacy hardware as a client side application, we set minimum requirements for Blue Mars that would allow developers to push the boundaries of what possible in a virtual world for many years to come. This has been a particularly fortuitous decision as the hardware requirements holding back mass market adoption of high definition 3D experiences online are being blown away.

Through the pioneering work of companies like AMD and OTOY and their remarkable AMD Fusion Cloud Server, users will be able to explore incredible high definition Blue Mars 3D content in a browser with no application download on virtually any broadband capable device from handhelds to Macs to legacy hardware. By taking hardware requirements and application downloads out of the equation so anyone can jump into the virtual world as fast as streaming a video online, grabbing a mobile app, or loading a flash game, having an architecture that provides advanced high definition rendering capabilities, support for huge numbers of simultaneous users in a single location, and secure environments for the display and monetization of interactive 3D content is absolutely crucial. The differences between immersive 3D experiences that require advanced hardware and those designed to accommodate legacy systems are all the more obvious when everyone can participate regardless of the machine they’re using.

For more information on how server side streaming will change how advanced 3D applications like Blue Mars are delivered online, check out this article about running Crysis (which features the same graphics engine as Blue Mars) on the iPhone. Since September 2009 when the article was written, the OTOY technology has progressed in leaps and bounds with Supermicro and AMD announcing the production servers slated for Q2 delivery. When seeing something like Blue Mars run on an iPhone, reactions range from shock to disbelief. At first glance, it looks like magic. How could something look so good on a device so small? We look forward to sharing the magic of Blue Mars with an even wider community later this year.


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