In this article, we will take a look at the cloud and AI technology that will make the next generation of video games a reality. In our lives, automation is having an increasingly transformative effect. From robotic process automation to AI assistants to automated driving. There is no surprise that the automatic technologies will leave their mark on the next generation of gaming.
The Battle Between the Giants
There are two big companies, Sony and Microsoft that will release the latest versions of their PlayStation and Xbox consoles. At the end of the year, we will be looking at the use of automation in these gaming consoles. Automation is partly enabled because these consoles have an increased processing power. For example, Sony has patents for dynamic sound creation. Their sound creation uses machine learning where it combines different musical components. The resulted song will fit the tone of the game in a particular moment.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has included machine learning algorithms that will generate high dynamic range content from SDR content. Stefan Habenschuss, the Head of Machine Learning Group from Blackshark says that artificial intelligence will fill the gaps from limited input data which will achieve stunning results. Besides, beyond consoles, automation is getting increasingly popular in augmented technology and it will assist in the development of the games themselves.
There is one such example with Microsoft’s latest entry of Flight Simulator. The first game was debuted in 1982 and between the first and the last one from 2020, there is a leap in fidelity that was achieved during the 40 year period. The blocky lines and solid colors are long gone because they are replaced by a virtual representation of reality. This representation is capable of fooling people into believing is real, except when you see some occasional glitches.
How Flight Simulator Came Alive
With Flight Simulator, Microsoft has achieved a level of detail across the entire globe. This achievement has proven that is well beyond the efforts of any game studio, no matter how big. The development of AI has helped fill the gaps. The game’s developer, Asobo Studios have partnered with a number of technology providers within and without Microsoft’s umbrella.
For example, even the Austrian tech company, Blackshark has participated in the development of Flight Simulator. Its contribution was by using AI to extract imaginary information from the satellites, in order to construct a digital twin of the planets’ building. But what is a digital twin?
The digital twin technology is most-often deployed in industrial and construction settings, rather than game development. The technology transfers physical environments into more digestible digital versions.
One of the providers of the digital twin technology, PGS Software explained that a digital twin is just a visual replica of a physical object, products or process and it is usually updated in real-time in order to match reality. The Chief Data Scientist from PGS Software, Maciej Mazur says that in his opinion digital twin technology is the best way to connect the physical world with the digital realm. This is all thanks to the fact that is possible to have digital twins at different levels, from a single sensor to the machine. A whole production line can be made by using one digital twin that is composed of smaller levels. There is a lot of freedom and the use of a machine learning algorithm will improve that production.
There is a big challenge in extending the photometric coverage of the world’s building, vegetation and infrastructure, however, Blackshark was able to implement a unique solution. They used the Microsofts Azure Cloud and the AI to gain insights into the planet. The insights about the planet are based on Bing Maps imagery data, deep learning neural network segments, classifies buildings, vegetation and roads globally. A patented approach was also used to reconstruct detected buildings in highly detailed 3D.
How AI Helps in the Next Generation of Games
The Head of the Machine Learning Group, Stefan Habenschuss said that over the course of the last three years they had constructed approximately 1.5 billion of buildings and detected over 30 million square kilometres of vegetation. This shows the scalability and performance of technology today. AI is filling the gaps left by limited input data and it achieves stunning results that are able to make the player feel like they are flying over the real world.
By 2025 the gaming industry is expected to grow in market size and the largest tech companies are currently investigating the space by using their technical clout to introduce new solutions. These new solutions are in the form of automation. Microsoft has even previously suggested that their greatest rivals in the gaming space are not Sony or Nintendo, but other big tech firms with the capacity to match their endeavours.
It makes sense that Microsoft is bringing its cloud expertise in the game. Besides AI, Microsoft Flight Simulator relies on Azure cloud platform where the algorithms and data were fed to create a 2.5-petabyte model. The model includes 2 trillion trees, 1.5 billion buildings and 117 million lakes. There is no chance for such a volume of data to be stored locally, so the game instead it relies on streaming it to players on the fly.
Competitors such as Google have also tried to go with cloud computing power, however, in Google’s case, it was for streaming video games entirely on Stadia platform. The ambition of those form the gaming industry continues to extend, from consoles manufacturers to video game developers, emerging technologies are filling the gaps. Cloud systems process the data volume infeasible in a home setting, while the AI generates even more impressive facsimiles of reality, which means that the future will be automated.
Also, the gaming industry isn’t just pc games and console games. The gaming industry also has a spot into the casino gaming, called iGaming industry. But how AI helps on this part exactly? Simple, table automation. In recent years, table gaming automation is part of the major innovations in the casino industry. It is because a lot of casino players like to play table games such as blackjack, roulette and poker. If you wonder how does it work, it is pretty simple, by using various analysis methods, where different manufacturers promise that the game space is improved.
However, casino operators need to look closely when choosing the right vendor. This is because different approaches are suitable for different requirements. Some manufacturers offer options for representation and management, others offer only systems that can capture data, and other vendors have options that include management systems and dashboard options. Meanwhile, table game automation solutions are all about increasing efficiency in gaming operations, with a higher game space, fewer errors due to automation and optimization of the entire gaming operation through a “business intelligence” data.