For a long time I resisted backing up my data online, but I now use Dropbox for most of my documents, my email all comes though gmail and I’m trying out Live Mesh. The online future seems increasingly “Cloud”y – but then we are used to clouds Northern Ireland.
Developments with server-side game processing is an exciting prospect but I think we are some way off streaming triple-A graphics quality games to the masses. Server technology already supports the approach but the network infrastructure is not fast enough nor does the internet, in general, have the consistency and reliability required. Edge magazine carried a discussion with four top UK game designers this month in their 200th issue and one of the predictions for the future from the group was the increase in server-side game processing. It seems that this technology service has a future but I’m not sure how widely it will be adopted/pushed by the major games companies. Sony, Apple and Microsoft’s approach to date has been about putting a hi-tech device (entertainment hub!) into a user’s living room or pocket. Platforms such as Second Life and Metaplace demonstrate the state-of-the-art for streaming interactive digital media. For now these are low resolution graphic platforms with a key emphasis on social networking as opposed to high speed interactive entertainment.