Game developers always need to keep one eye on tomorrow’s technology, because that dictates customer expectations. As technology improves, players expect games to improve too, and vote with their wallets.
Trade shows provide a good insight into what’s coming next, and even if you can’t attend, the bigger shows cause a wave of news to break across the media. The news from Computex in Taiwan showed that there are some interesting new developments from Intel that games developers should be aware of.
Firstly, Intel introduced its 4th generation Intel Core Processor, which offers a 50 per cent increase in battery life during active workloads, taking it to over 9 hours. That represents the biggest power saving the company has ever achieved and means that users can work and play on the move without having to compromise on the battery life or processing capability of the device they use.
The latest processor has built-in graphics with a performance of up to double the previous generation. You might not know that Intel HD Graphics is the highest volume graphics solution on PCs sold today, but the new Intel Iris graphics (in some versions of the new Intel Core Processor) offers twice the 3D performance and enables Ultrabook devices to offer a great visual experience without an additional graphics card. In time, Ultrabook users will come to appreciate and expect superior graphics when gaming on the move.
Perceptual computing was also a hot topic at Computex, with Intel demonstrating the Creative Senz3D peripheral camera, which can be used for short-range gesture control. The camera will be in the shops next quarter, and Intel is working on an integrated solution to build 3D depth camera technology directly into Intel-based devices for the second half of 2014.
In recent years, we’ve quickly become accustomed to using touch alongside the keyboard and mouse. Perhaps we’ll start to see gestures used increasingly as well, perhaps in partnership with other control technologies, in the same way that people use touch in Windows 8 on keyboard-enabled devices.
Games that exploit perceptual computing technologies could offer new gameplay experiences, and strongly differentiate themselves in a crowded market.
This Christmas will also see new tablets in stores featuring Intel’s next-generation quad-core Atom processor (code-named Bay Trail-T), which doubles the CPU performance over the previous generation.
As with the Ultrabook processor, Intel is focused on improving battery life, and says the new tablet designs will offer 8 hours of active battery life and weeks of standby. Significantly, they will support both Android and Windows 8.1, giving users the choice as to which operating system they want to use on their tablets.
If you want to develop software for Intel processors, you can find free software, tutorials and other resources in the Intel Developer Zone.
• This blog post is written by Softtalkblog, and is sponsored by the Intel Developer Zone, which helps you to develop, market and sell software and apps for prominent platforms and emerging technologies powered by Intel Architecture.